Israeli court sentences former Jerusalem mayor to 6 years in bribery case that involved ex-PM

JERUSALEM – An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced a former mayor of Jerusalem to six years in prison for his role in a wide-ranging corruption case that also involved ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The Tel Aviv District Court handed down the sentence to Uri Lupolianski, who was convicted earlier this year of accepting bribes in a controversial Jerusalem real estate project. Lupolianski, who can appeal, was also ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 Israeli shekels, or about $142,800.

His sentencing comes a month after Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the same case. The former prime minister was among other government officials, developers and businesspeople charged in three separate schemes related to a housing development in Jerusalem.

According to the original 2012 indictment, millions of dollars illegally changed hands to promote a series of real estate projects, including the “Holyland” housing development, which required a radical change in zoning laws and earned the developers tax breaks and other benefits. The hilltop development, resembling a large fortress, is a frequent target of criticism because of its hulking appearance. Olmert has vowed to appeal but was ordered to report to prison on Sept. 1.

Lupolianski, who succeeded Olmert as mayor, is also to start his prison term on the same date.