Rivlin lifts Olmerts prison release restrictions

Olmert will still have to carry out two restrictions for the remainder of his sentence.

July 4, 2017 17:44
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv District Court

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves Tel Aviv District Court, May 13, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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President Reuven Rivlin decided to ease the conditions of former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s early release from prison.

According to a statement from the President’s Office on Monday, Rivlin decided that the restrictions should apply only during Olmert’s imprisonment. Since the ex-premier was released from prison on parole on Sunday, they are now lifted. He is now able to travel abroad and will not face mandatory visits to a police station twice a month or weekly meetings with a social worker.

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However, Olmert will still have to obey two restrictions for the remainder of his sentence, which were are confidential under the parole board’s decision, the President’s Office stated.

The former prime minister was released after spending 16 months of a 27-month sentence behind bars for a series of corruption convictions that included fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice. On the day of his release, Olmert sent a request to Rivlin to lift his parole restrictions.

The parole board on Thursday granted Olmert early release for good behavior, despite a new probe into alleged leaking of classified documents by the former premier.

The ex-prime minister was sentenced for crimes in three matters: The Holyland real estate corruption affair during his term as Jerusalem mayor (1993-2003); illegally receiving envelopes of cash from New York businessman Morris Talansky from 1993 to 2002; and seeking to obstruct the testimony of his former longtime bureau chief Shula Zaken.

Olmert wrote a more than 1,000-page memoir while in prison, sparking the new probe in May over suspicions he leaked classified documents during the course of writing the book.

The parole board said in its decision that the Prisons Service was fully aware that Olmert was writing a book; that hundreds of pages of the manuscript were transferred to and from prison beginning in November 2016; and that the Prisons Service did not try to prevent such transfers until mid-May.

“The prison authorities could have stopped the movement of the materials from the prison if they wanted,” the decision said, adding that Olmert should not be held solely responsible for a failure of enforcement.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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