Hospital: Imprisoned former PM Olmert stable after health scare

After being examined by a doctor at Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle, where he is serving a 27-month sentence, Olmert was transferred to the hospital for further tests.

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June 20, 2017 15:57
3 minute read.
Ehud Olmert

Ehud Olmert. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Prisons Service transferred former prime minister Ehud Olmert to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Tuesday after Olmert complained of chest pains.

After being examined by a doctor at Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle, where he is serving a 27-month sentence for two counts of bribery in the Holyland real estate corruption affair, and for fraud, breach of trust and tax evasion in the Talansky money envelopes case, Olmert was transferred to the hospital for further tests. The hospital said he is in stable condition.

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An echocardiogram conducted at the hospital showed that Olmert did not have a heart attack. However, doctors at Sheba want him to undergo more tests to see why he has lost weight. It was unclear when he would return to the prison. The former prime minister recovered from a previous bout of prostate cancer.

Associates of Olmert told The Jerusalem Post that he has lost as much as 7 kilograms in recent weeks. They complained they asked the Prisons Service last Thursday to allow his personal doctor, Shlomo Segev, to see him, and they did not receive a response until Tuesday, when Olmert complained of chest pains.

“Sunday at his [parole] hearing, he looked like he was on the verge of a heart attack,” a source close to Olmert said.

“Only when he complained of chest pains, did the Prisons Service send its doctor, who allowed him to be evacuated to Sheba.”

Prisons Service spokesman Assaf Liberati confirmed that Olmert requested a visit from his personal doctor last week.

Liberati added that the former prime minister has immediate access to Prisons Service physicians and it is not unusual for a request of a private doctor visitation to take several days to process.

“We are angry that our warnings about his health conditions were ignored,” a source in Olmert’s defense team said. “It did not have to get to this point.”

Olmert’s medical complaint comes as the former premier is back in the headlines over allegedly leaking classified documents while writing a memoir in prison.

Police last week raided the book publishing offices of Yediot Aharonot in Rishon Lezion, after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit authorized a preliminary review, based upon which he would decide if opening a full criminal investigation is warranted.

Yediot Aharonot filed a petition in the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court claiming that the police seized documents not related to the investigation, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

In court police said they failed to properly download computer files from the book publishing offices, making them unreadable, and are seeking to reenter the offices and again download the files.

Olmert had started writing and asked his lawyer to bring materials, some of them allegedly classified, to his jail cell as background for the book. One of the former prime minister’s attorneys was detained in May after he was caught with the materials in his possession following a visit with Olmert. The Prisons Service subsequently denied the former prime minister access to public phones and vacations.

According to the Justice Ministry, Olmert had been warned that the Censor’s Office had prohibited the information from being published.

In a statement last month, Olmert’s attorney’s said his client “does not require any seal of approval as to his connection and responsibility for subjects that are related to Israel’s national security.

He has never leaked anything sensitive on subjects of security or intelligence that could have damaged the State of Israel,” and that Olmert had submitted his autobiography to the Censor’s Office.

The former prime minister has a parole hearing on June 29 to decide whether he will be granted early release from prison after serving twothirds of his sentence.


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