Ehud Olmert requests early prison release


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert officially submitted a request for early release from prison, where he is serving a 19-month sentence on a corruption conviction.

An attorney for Olmert, the first Israeli prime minister to serve jail time, submitted the request on Wednesday. A hearing on the request to shorten his sentence by six months was scheduled for Dec. 25.

Olmert went on his first 48-hour furlough from prison last month.

He resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in multiple corruption scandals.

In December, Israel’s Supreme Court cut Olmert’s prison term in the Holyland corruption case to 18 months from six years after acquitting him of receiving the larger of the two bribes for which he was convicted. The Jerusalem District Court then extended the sentence by a month.

The Holyland affair, what is being called the largest corruption scandal in Israel, involved the payment of bribes to government officials by the developers of a luxury high-rise apartment complex in Jerusalem.

In May, Olmert was sentenced to eight months in prison after being convicted for accepting cash-filled envelopes from an American-Jewish businessman, Morris Talansky, and using it for personal and not political expenses. The case is under appeal to the Supreme Court.


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