Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
10 July 2012. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was cleared of major charges by an Israeli court. However he was convicted of a lesser charge of breach of trust involving giving job appointments and contracts to clients of a close associate when he served as minister of industry and trade. The conviction of lesser charge made him the first Israeli prime minister ever to be convicted of a crime and his troubles are far from over. He will face sentencing on 6 September 2012 and he is still facing another charge of bribery involving a property. It is unlikely that he will return to politics any time soon. Olmert stepped down from power because of corruption allegations of double billing Jewish groups for trips and accepting cash gifts from an American supporter. The court ruling is seen as a major victory for Olmert the Kadima Party which he led. He felt happy and relieved after the verdict and said that there was no corruption but only some procedural lapses which he regretted. Shula Zaken, a close aid of Olmert was convicted of fraud and breach of trust. In that case the court hinted that there was “reasonable doubt” that the prime minister knew what had happened. It noted that because of Zaken’s refusal to testify in the case, it was difficult to convict Olmert.