Israeli ex-PM Olmert freed from jail

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Jerusalem, July 2 (IANS) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison on Sunday after a parole board reduced his corruption sentence by a third.

Live broadcasts showed Olmert, who served as the country’s Prime Minister between 2006 and 2009, leaving the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel early morning, Xinhua news agency reported.

A car took him directly to his home in Tel Aviv, accompanied by his security guard.

A spokesperson for Olmert said that under his parole terms, in the next few months the former leader will have to do volunteer work, report twice a week to a police station and will not be allowed to leave the country or give media interviews.

Olmert is expected to appeal for a pardon to President Reuven Rivlin, the spokesperson said, adding that a request if approved would cancel his parole terms.

Olmert served 16 months of his 27-month sentence. He was granted an early release on Thursday in a decision by Israel Prison Service’s parole board. He is the first Israeli Prime Minister to serve time in jail.

Olmert started his prison term on February 15, 2016, after the Supreme Court reduced his six-year sentence to 18 months, cancelling a previous conviction in the “Holyland case”, a corruption affair involving a giant construction project in Jerusalem.

–IANS

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