Last night, the State Attorney’s Office announced that it will appeal at least one of the acquittals granted to former-prime minister Ehud Olmert just three months ago.
In July, Olmert was acquitted of having illegally accepted money from an American businessman, in a case known as the Talansky Affair and was also acquitted over the Rishon Tours affair, in which he was accused of maintaining an illegal travel slush fund. After being handed just a relatively light fine and one-year suspended prison sentence, for breach of trust during his time as Minister of Trade and Industry, it was thought that Olmert could make a return to politics as a candidate in upcoming national elections. However, yesterday’s announcement, which indicated that an appeal would definitely be filed over the Talansky Affair and possibly the Rishon Tours case too, has thrown Olmert’s potential comeback into doubt. Olmert’s media adviser Amir Dan said, “There’s nothing behind the appeal beyond evil personal oppression of Mr. Olmert.”
In other election campaign news, Yair Lapid is set to present his foreign policy platform at the Ariel University Centre in the West Bank, according to Maariv. Apparently, his choice of venue indicates that Lapid will declare his support for retaining major settlement blocs under a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Lapid announced yesterday that former Shin Bet chief and current Bank Mizrahi chairman Yaakov Peri will be a parliamentary candidate for Yesh Atid, adding security credentials to the party’s list.
Also in the news, National Union of Israeli Students chairman Itzik Shmuli, one of the leaders of the summer 2011 social justice protests, announced this morning that he would run for a Knesset seat with the Labour Party.