Israeli ex-PM Olmert freed from jail

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the media after a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert walks out of the prison door as he is released from prison after a parole board chose to cut his sentence by a third, at Maasiyahu prison near Ramle, Israel July 2, 2017.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison on Sunday after a parole board reduced his corruption sentence by a third. Shin Bet officials arrived to pick Olmert up from the prison gates and took him to his home in Tel Aviv. He was granted an early release on Thursday in a decision by Israel Prison Service's parole board.

In a video message released just before he began his sentence, Olmert, a debonair man reputed to have a taste for fine cigars, maintained his innocence. He is the first Israeli Prime Minister to serve time in jail.

Olmert's original 27-month prison term was comprised of 18 months for taking bribes in the early 2000s in connection with the construction of Jerusalem's Holyland residential complex, eight months for a separate case of fraud and corruption, and another month for obstructing justice. He was imprisoned on charges of bribery and obstruction of justice.


"All this significantly diminishes the risk he will deviate again from honest practice".

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.

He was hospitalized June 20 after complaining of chest pains but returned to prison last Tuesday. He was released after a week of hospitalization.

The 71-year-old, who became prime minister of Israel in 2006, did not address reporters when he exited the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel.

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