Olmert Expected to Sign Plea Bargain for Concurrent Sentences

Deal will ensure former prime minister serves forthcoming sentence concurrently with 18 months already dealt in Holyland case.

Ehud Olmert at the Supreme Court, during a hearing on the appeal in the Holyland corruption case, Dec. 29, 2015.
Gil Yohanan

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to sign a plea bargain with the prosecution early Monday morning.

Talks between the sides continued late into the night. But they both predicted an agreement would be reached by the morning.

Under the deal, Olmert will apparently confess to obstructing justice in a case in which he has not yet been indicted. This case is based on a recorded conversation with his former chief aide, Shula Zaken, in which he seems to be trying to persuade her not to testify against him in the Holyland bribery case. In that case, Olmert has already been convicted of taking a bribe and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

In exchange for his confession, the prosecution will evidently agree that whatever sentence he receives for obstructing justice will be served concurrently with his sentence in the Holyland case.

In contrast, the parties have yet to reach an agreement on the Talansky case, in which Olmert was convicted of accepting cash-filled envelopes from American Jewish businessman Morris Talansky and failing to report the income. A lower court sentenced him to eight months in prison, but the Supreme Court is slated to hear his appeal against both the conviction and sentence tomorrow.

Olmert has offered to drop his appeal if the prosecution agrees to let this sentence, too, be served concurrently with his sentence in the Holyland case, which is already final. But so far, the prosecution has refused to accept this demand, and wants him to serve the sentences consecutively, meaning he would spend 26 months in jail altogether.