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Key witness in Olmert trial dies

JTA

March 1, 2013 | 4:47 am

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves the court room after his hearing at the Jerusalem District court on Sept. 24. Photo by REUTERS/Abir Sultan

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves the court room after his hearing at the Jerusalem District court on Sept. 24. Photo by REUTERS/Abir Sultan

A key state witness in a corruption trial against former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert died hours after testifying.

The witness, identified in the Israeli media as S.D., was 75 years old when he died on Thursday, Army Radio reported. He suffered from severe health problems.

Olmert, who served as Jerusalem mayor from 1993-2003, is accused of expediting the expanded construction of the Holyland luxury apartment complex and facilitating other real estate ventures in the city in exchange for bribes paid not to him but to others.

The statement by S.D., who served as a representative of the Holyland developers, is the only evidence the money was transferred at Olmert's request, Haaretz reported.

In what was seen as a major breakthrough for Olmert’s defense team, S.D. recently admitted during cross examination to falsifying some but not all of the evidence that the prosecution submitted as evidence against Olmert.

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