(JNS.org) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released early from prison Sunday after serving 16 months of a 26-month sentence related to two separate corruption scandals.
Olmert—Israel’s first former prime minister to serve time in prison—was seen leaving Ma’asiyahu Prison in central Israel shortly after dawn Sunday. He did not speak to reporters when exiting the facility, and Hebrew-language media later reported that Olmert arrived at one of his homes in Tel Aviv, escorted by Israeli security officers.
The former prime minister’s release followed a parole board ruling June 29 in favor of granting him an early exit on account of good behavior. The Israeli State Attorney’s Office did not appeal the decision, allowing Olmert to leave prison.
Under the conditions of his early release, Olmert will volunteer at the nonprofit organizations Ezra Lemarpeh and Leket, which work to provide medical aid and food to Israelis in need. He is also temporarily barred from leaving the country, must appear before police twice a month and cannot give interviews to the media.
The former head of state was convicted in March 2014 for receiving bribes to facilitate the construction of the Holyland housing project in Jerusalem in 2004. In 2015, he was found guilty of receiving payoffs from American businessman Morris Talansky between 1993 and 2002. Olmert began serving his multiple sentences in February 2016.