World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli court spared former prime minister Ehud Olmert a prison term over a conviction for breach of trust on Monday.
Dogged by corruption scandals, Olmert resigned in 2008. Though found guilty in July of cronyism while in a former cabinet post, he was acquitted of more serious bribery charges.
Jerusalem District Court handed Olmert a suspended one-year jail sentence and a 75,300-shekel ($19,225) fine. Had he been put behind bars, the 66-year-old centrist politician might have been prevented from returning to public office.
"I leave court today walking tall," Olmert told reporters, without elaborating on his plans.
The party he once led, Kadima, now heads the opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist Likud.
A comeback would likely depend on the outcome of a separate bribery case over Olmert's role, as Jerusalem mayor from 1993 to 2003, in a controversial housing project.
"This is not over," deputy Israeli state prosecutor Eli Abravanel said after Monday's sentencing.
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Both men were simultaneously visiting the European Union’s main governmental headquarters to talk with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
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