Ehud Olmert
Ehud OlmertReuters

An Israeli court has convicted former prime minister Ehud Olmert of bribery in a trial linked to a massive real-estate development in Jerusalem when he was mayor.

Centrist Olmert was convicted in Tel Aviv of receiving bribes in the Holyland affair, which forced him to resign as premier in 2008.

The 68-year-old had denied wrongdoing. Judge David Rozen said the case "exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years, with bribes paid to public officials," according to AP.

Olmert was asked to depose his passport by the Police, following a restriction order not to leave the country.

He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003 and prime minister from 2006 to 2009. He succeeded Ariel Sharon after he had a stroke.

Olmert was among 13 defendants in the Holyland case, which involves the construction of a massive hilltop housing project.

In 2012, Olmert was cleared of two major corruption charges but convicted of illegally granting favours to a business friend during his time as trade and industry minister under Sharon.

As prime minister, Olmert waged war against militants in Lebanon in 2006 and the Gaza Strip in 2008.

Source: AP and Reuters.

Vehicles drive past the Holyland towers apartment complex in Jerusalem
Vehicles drive past the Holyland towers apartment complex in JerusalemReuters