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Israel appeals acquittal of ex-premier Olmert

Wednesday 7 Nov 2012
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Israel's state prosecution on Wednesday appealed against the acquittal of former premier Ehud Olmert on corruption charges, the justice ministry said, as he plans to run in upcoming election.

In July, a Jerusalem court found Olmert guilty of breach of trust but cleared him on two more serious charges related to alleged receipt of cash-stuffed envelopes and multiple-billing for trips abroad.

And in September the Jerusalem District Court sentenced him to a suspended one year jail term and fined him 75,300 shekels ($19,300/15,125 euros).

The prosecutor also appealed the September sentence, saying it was too lenient.

These decisions come as sources close to Olmert said last month he was facing pressure to run in January legislative elections, and the appeals could weaken his chances to return to politics.

Olmert, a former leader of the main opposition Kadima party, stepped down as premier in 2008 after police recommended he be indicted in several graft cases.

He still faces allegations in a separate case that he accepted bribes in return for helping the developers of the Holyland complex in Jerusalem.

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