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Police carry out raids in hunt for unpublished autobiography of jailed former-PM

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert arrives for a hearing at the district court of Tel Aviv on February 14, 2016
Finbarr O'Reilly (POOL/AFP/File)
Olmert's memoirs about his time as PM need to be passed by censor prior to publication

Israeli police on Thursday raided two locations, including a publishing house, searching for the manuscript of the memoir of imprisoned former-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which was suspected to have been smuggled out of jail before it was passed by the military censor.

Olmert's autobiography about his time as prime minister is considered by the Defense Ministry to be classified information, and must therefore be cleared prior to publication.

In May, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) denied Olmert a routine furlough after classified documents were found in his possession. He was also denied access to the public telephone in the his wing after he allegedly transferred unapproved documents to his lawyer which were suspected to be related to the autobiography.

Jack Guez (AFP)

In a statement at the time, Olmert's lawyer dismissed the IPS claim: "Olmert does not need any authorization regarding his ties to Israel's national security. He never leaked, either during his term or since, anything sensitive to security or intelligence matters that could have harmed the State of Israel.

"During his prison sentence, Olmert wrote an autobiography about his life and his actions concerning social, economic and defense issues. This book was transferred in its entirety to [the military] censor over two months ago and no one, especially Mr. Olmert, has any intention to publish it without their approval."

The former prime minister is serving a 19-month prison sentence for corruption, and has been imprisoned since February 2016.

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