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Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Released Early From Prison

Israel -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves the courtroom at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem December 29, 2015.

Israeli ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been freed on parole after serving 16 months in prison on corruption and other charges.

Olmert’s release on July 2 came after the parole board ruled he should be freed early for good behavior after serving 16 months of a 27-month sentence. He did not speak to reporters as he left the Maasiyahu prison.

Olmert, 71, who served as premier from 2006 to 2009, was among eight former officials and businessmen convicted in March 2014 in a real estate corruption case.

He was forced to resign in early 2009 amid the allegations.

In September 2016, he was sentenced to an additional eight months on charges of accepting envelopes full of cash from a U.S. businessman in exchange for political favors during his term as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.

He was originally sentenced to six years in prison but had his term reduced after the Supreme Court overturned a main part of his conviction.

Olmert has always insisted on his innocence, describing the allegations against him as "a brutal, ruthless witch-hunt."

Based on reporting by AFP, The Times of Israel, and The New York Times