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Parole board will decide on early release for ex-PM Olmert on June 29

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)
Police carried out raids on Thursday in hunt for explosive unpublished memoirs

Disgraced former Israeli Prime Minister will find out next week if he will receive early release from prison after the Parole Board announced that they would hand down their decision on June 29.

Olmert, whose lawyers say has behaved impeccably in prison, is seeking to slash a third off his 26 month sentence for various convictions arising from the Holyland corruption scandal.

The announcement, made at the end of a lengthy hearing on Sunday, comes only days after it emerged that the former Israeli premier and mayor of Jerusalem is suspected of divulging state secrets in his as yet unpublished memoirs.

During Sunday’s hearing, state prosecutors requested that the parole hearing be postponed because Olmert may face additional charges arising from the manuscript investigation, according to reports in Israeli media. 

This was rejected, and the date of decision scheduled for June 29.   

Israeli police on Thursday raided two locations, including a publishing house, searching for the manuscript, 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.

Olmert became Prime Minister in 2006 after his predecessor Ariel Sharon fell into a coma. He presided over short-lived peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.  

He resigned as premier in September 2008 after police recommended he be indicted for graft, but he remained in office until March 2009, when Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in to the post, which he has held ever since.


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