(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert entered prison on Monday to begin serving his multiple sentences, becoming the first former Israeli premier to spend time behind bars.
Olmert, who began his career as an anti-corruption crusader, was ultimately undone by the very behavior he sought to eradicate as a young Knesset member and lawyer. Olmert will serve 18 months over his bribery conviction in the Holyland trial and another month due to an obstruction of justice case, which ended in a plea bargain. He may be released on good behavior before serving the entire sentence.
Olmert voluntarily entered the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla on Monday. Prior to his incarceration, he released a video message in which he continued to claim his innocence.
“This is very painful for my family and loved ones,” he said. “I had the privilege of serving Israel, and while I have made mistakes, they did not amount to criminality. Today attests to the strength of democracy. No one is above the law.”