Israel's ex-Prime Minister Olmert gets light sentence

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JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem court today ordered former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to pay a fine and serve a one-year suspended sentence for his role in a corruption case that forced him from office, a relatively light punishment that could clear the way for a political comeback.

Olmert, who had faced the possibility of jail time or community service, was ordered only to pay an $18,000 fine.

Olmert was forced out of office nearly four years ago under the cloud of scandal, accused of accepting cash-stuffed envelopes from an American political supporter and allegedly double billing supporters for overseas trips.

But in July, the court cleared him of those serious allegations, convicting him only on the lesser charge of breach of trust for helping allocate government contracts to a friend’s associates.

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