Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (2nd R) waits to hear his verdict at the Tel Aviv District Court March 31, 2014.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (2nd R) waits to hear his verdict at the Tel Aviv District Court March 31, 2014.Reuters File

Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli Prime Minister, who once led the country towards a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians, has been sentenced to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a Jewish-American businessman, Morris Talansky.

Monday's verdict in Jerusalem district court comes in addition to a six-year prison term he received in a separate bribery conviction.

The latest conviction against the former Israeli PM has ensured that Olmert will never be able to return back to active politics again. He served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 2006, but was forced to resign in early 2009 amid the corruption allegations.

His exit cleared the path for the election of hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu, and so ended with it the hopes for starting a peace agreement with Palestine.

A lawyer by profession, Olmert began his political career in the 1970s. He also served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.

In 2007, Olmert welcomed the Arab League's re-endorsement of the Arab Peace Initiative. He claimed to have made significant progress in talks with the Palestinians that had it not been for his legal problems would have secured a final peace deal.

 Olmert's four-decade-long political career:

  • Olmert was elected to the 16th Knesset in January 2003
  • He has served as the head of Likud party's election campaign and was later made the chief negotiator of the coalition agreement.
  • Olmert replaced Benjamin Netanyahu on 7 August 2005 as Israeli finance minister.
  • Olmert was the first to join Ariel Sharon's newly formed party, Kadima, after the latter left Likud to established the new party in February 2005.
  • In 4 January 2006, he took over as the acting Prime Minister, after Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke.
  • Under him, during March 2006 elections, Kadima won 29 seats, making it the largest party.
  • In May 2006, Olmert announced his new government to the Knesset. He took over as the prime minister and minister for welfare.
  • In 2007, he initiated the steps that if successful would have ensured a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.
  • Following allegations of corruption charges, he resigned as PM in 2008, but went on to hold the post till the election in 2009, which brought Netanyahu to power.