Former Israel PM Olmert freed after six months jail

Former Israel PM Olmert freed after six months in jail
1 min read
02 July, 2017
Israel's former prime minister who was jailed for corruption has been freed after only six months in jail after his sentence would be cut by a third.
Ehud Olmert became Israel's first former PM to be jailed [AFP]

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was freed from prison on Sunday after being granted parole in a corruption case that reduced his sentence by a third.

Olmert, the country's first former premier to serve jail time, did not speak to reporters when leaving the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel.

The 71-year-old Olmert, premier between 2006 and 2009, was convicted of graft and entered prison in February 2016. He had been sentenced to 27 months.

As a centrist prime minister, he launched a 2006 war against Hizballah in Lebanon which led to the deaths of more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The military operation was considered a political and military failure in Israel.

In 2008, he then launched Operation Cast Lead on the Gaza Strip, a 22-day military offensive which killed over 1,400 Palestinians and devastated the coastal enclave.

In recent weeks, Olmert has made headlines in Israel after police raided a publishing house over claims a memoir he is writing contained security information not cleared by Israel's military censor.

His conviction excludes him from running for public office for seven years after his release.