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Israeli ex-PM faces appeal against his corruption case acquittals

(Xinhua)

10:46, October 17, 2012

JERUSALEM, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli State Attorney's office announced Tuesday evening it is appealing the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two corruption cases to the Supreme Court.

The State Attorney's office notified Olmert's legal team about the appeals on Tuesday.

Olmert served as prime minister between 2006 and 2009 and was forced to step down after corruption allegations against him started to surface.

He was acquitted on two cases of corruption by the Jerusalem District Court last July.

In the first affair, dubbed "the money envelopes", Olmert was suspected of receiving envelopes full of bills from American businessman Morris Talensky. In the "Rishon Tours affair", he was accused of fraudulently double-billing public organizations for speeches made on their behalf abroad.

Olmert was found guilty in breach of public trust for improperly securing grants and tax breaks while ministering to clients of long-time friend and colleague Uri Messer. The relatively light punishment -- 75,000 shekels (about 20,000 U.S. dollars) -- meant Olmert could return to politics, since no moral turpitude was involved.

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