After serving only16 months, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from prison on parole at 6:24 AM this morning (Sunday). Close associates confirmed that Olmert hopes to have his parolee status canceled by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as promised during his petition for early release.

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was released from Maasiyahu Prison Sunday morning after serving a 16-month sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice. Shin Bet officials arrived to pick Olmert up from the prison gates and took him to his home in Tel Aviv. Those close to the former prime minister confirmed that in the coming days, he plans to appeal to the Israeli president and ask him to cancel his parolee status, as promised by President Reuven Rivlin when he signed Olmert’s petition for early release.  In the meantime, Olmert will also have to deal with a police investigation into him on suspicion that he illegally passed along classified documents, a breach of national security.

Olmert’s release day began early this morning (Sunday) before 6:00 AM. The former prime minister retrieved his personal items he deposited on his first day in prison, had a farewell meeting with the prison’s warden who explained to him his parole status and at 6:24 AM, Olmert left the prison gates. Given his current status on parole, Olmert is still subject to restrictions on his freedom, that he will attempt to have cancelled by Rivlin.

Olmert leaving Maasiyahu Prison this morning

Olmert leaving Maasiyahu Prison this morning Photo Credit: Reuven Castro, Walla News/Channel 2 News

Until Olmert’s parole status is revoked, he will have to report to a police station twice a month, at the beginning of every first and third week. He is forbidden from traveling abroad and once a week he has to meet with a social worker from the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority until the end of his sentence in May 2018. Olmert promised that after his release he would volunteer with two of Rabbi Firer’s non-profit organizations.

The new investigation into Olmert involve two, possibly three breaches of national security, all of which have been classified. Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is scheduled to decide in the next week or so whether to go through with a full criminal investigation into this affair. Until last week, when the parole board’s decision and report was published, it appeared that the Israel State Attorney’s Office was leaning towards a criminal investigation into Olmert.