Ehud Olmert went to prison; Netanyahu waiting for the electric chair.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has began serving a 19-month prison sentence over financial corruption, making him the first Israeli premier to be jailed.
Olmert on Monday went to the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel to start the sentence that was handed to him in March 2014 over bribery and obstruction of justice.
Before walking into prison, Olmert published a video in which he again denied any wrongdoing in the bribery conviction against him. The three and a half minute video was reportedly shot in his residence and was released by his office.
Olmert, looking weary, said he was paying a “heavy” price and that the moment in which he was forced to go behind bars was “painful and strange.”
“At this hour it is important for me to say again … I reject outright all the corruption allegations against me,” Olmert sad.
He claimed in the footage that he was always “honest and promising” during his efforts as prime minister to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This as the 70-year-old played, during his time in office between 2006 and 2009, a huge role in the suppression of the Palestinians’ cause for freedom from the Israeli occupation.
It was in Olmert’s time that a deadly incursion was launched into Gaza, a Palestinian enclave on the Mediterranean, in 2008. He also suffered a well-known defeat in the war he led against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement in the early months of taking office.
Olmert’s involvement in bribery dates back to his time as the mayor of the occupied city of Tel Aviv and also when he was Israeli trade minister. His solicitors managed to commute his sentence in December. He was initially sentenced to six years in jail.