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Ex-Israel PM Olmert released from prison

JERUSALEM (AP) – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison early yesterday, days after a parole board granted him early release from his 27-month corruption sentence.

Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Olmert, 71, was whisked away by Israel’s security service after his release and driven home after serving 16 months.

He said the terms of Olmert’s early release stipulate that for the next few months, the former Prime Minister has to do volunteer work, must appear before police twice a month and cannot give interviews to the media, or leave the country.

He added that President Reuven Rivlin could relieve him of the parole restrictions.

Olmert was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem and obstructing justice. The charges pertained to a period when he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister before he became premier in 2006.

His departure from office in 2009 ended the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and ushered in the era of Benjamin Netanyahu.