Former PM Olmert goes home after serving partial sentence

Olmert went home Sunday after serving close to two-thirds of his term. He was imprisoned on charges of bribery and obstruction of justice.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left prison early Sunday after a parole board on Thursday granted him early release. He served 16 months of his 27-month corruption sentence.

Olmert, 71, was whisked away by Israel’s security service and driven to his Tel Aviv home.

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said the terms of Olmert’s early release stipulate that for the next while, he must do volunteer work and appear before police twice a month. Also, he is prohibited from giving media interviews or leaving the country.

Librati added that President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions and that Olmert has already appealed to the head of state for clemency.

Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before becoming premier in 2006.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked welcomed Olmert’s release, telling IDF Radio he deserved to have his sentence reduced and that “all in all, his behavior in prison was very good.”

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Olmert may face another legal entanglement following a recent police investigation after his lawyer had been caught leaving the prison with a chapter of the former PM’s yet-unpublished book that contained “sensitive security issues.”

Last week, Olmert was rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. He was released after a week of hospitalization.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff