Disgraced Former Israeli Prime Minister Released After 16 Months in Prison

Published July 2nd, 2017 - 09:00 GMT
Olmert began serving a 19-month sentence in February 2016, which was later extended to a 27-month sentence.(AFP)
Olmert began serving a 19-month sentence in February 2016, which was later extended to a 27-month sentence.(AFP)

Disgraced former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been released from prison after a parole board decided to trim his sentence on corruption charges by a third, according to Israeli media reports Sunday.

The 71-year-old left Maasiyahu prison near Tel Aviv early Sunday after spending 16 months in prison, Israeli television reported.

Olmert was forced to step down in 2008 - a move that many say undercut ongoing Middle East peace talks - on charges of bribe-taking
and obstruction connected to deals he had struck related to the construction of a luxury housing project.

The crimes occurred during earlier stints when Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem and the national trade and industry minister.

Olmert began serving a 19-month sentence in February 2016, which was later extended to a 27-month sentence.

But Olmert's legal problems aren't over. He faces new charges of trying to smuggle top secret information out of jail by asking his lawyer to get transcripts of his memoirs out of prison without the censors seeing it.

Olmert's lawyers say no crime was committed.

Olmert was taken to a prison hospital with heart complaints on June 20. Since then, images of him have circulated on social media which
show him looking ill and having experienced significant weight loss.

 


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