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Olmert faces new corruption charges

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been indicted on new corruption charges.

Olmert is accused of taking bribes to promote construction of housing projects, including a huge housing complex in Jerusalem.

The alleged crimes took place while he was mayor of Jerusalem, a position he held before becoming prime minister in 2006.

Olmert has denied all the allegations against him.

He is already standing trial on separate charges of accepting illicit funds from an American supporter and double-billing Jewish groups for trips abroad - also before he became prime minister.

The wide-ranging property scandal at the centre of the case dwarfs the others in which Olmert is accused.

According to the indictment, millions of dollars illegally changed hands to promote a series of projects, including the controversial housing development in Jerusalem that required a radical change in zoning laws and earned the developers tax breaks and other benefits.

Olmert claims no wrongdoing during a three-decade political career dogged by suspicions of corruption but no convictions. The accusations forced Olmert to resign after a three-year term as prime minister in 2009.

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