BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel prosecutor to appeal Olmert acquittals

Then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks during a cabinet meeting in 2008. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM: Israel's state prosecutor will appeal the acquittals and sentence in former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's recent corruption trial.

The justice ministry announced the decision late Tuesday. It could chill any plans Olmert might have to make a political comeback in January elections. The corruption allegations had driven him from office, paving the way for Benjamin Netanyahu's election in February 2009.

In July, Olmert was cleared of the major charges against him in this case but was convicted of helping to channel government contracts to a friend's associates.

That lesser conviction earned him a suspended sentence and a fine. Neither penalty would disqualify him from running for office again.

Olmert has not announced whether he wants to return to politics. He faces additional corruption charges in a separate case now underway.

 

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