Former Israel PM Olmert freed after six months in jail

Former Israel PM Olmert freed after six months in jail
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.
1 min read
02 July, 2017
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.