TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The 71-year-old, premier between 2006 and 2009, left Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla early on Sunday before being driven away.
In 2014, Olmert was found guilty of accepting bribes from real estate developers when he was the mayor of Jerusalem al-Quds between 1993 and 2003. He was also convicted of fraud, breach of trust and obstructing justice when he was a trade minister.
Olmert resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after being indicted for graft, but remained in office until March 2009, when his successor Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in to the post.
Olmert was initially sentenced to six years in prison. The jail term was cut to 18 months on appeal, but later another month was added. Ultimately, Olmert’s sentence was lengthened to 27 months.
On Thursday, a parole board granted the former Israeli prime minister early release after he served 16 months in jail.
Olmert's crimes were "severe," but he was "punished for his deeds and paid a heavy price,” the parole board said. "The inmate underwent a significant rehabilitation process in prison and displays motivation to continue it.”
However, he is currently being investigated over suspicions he smuggled a chapter of a book he is writing out of prison. The memoir was suspected to contain security secrets.
Last month, Israel's ministry of judicial affairs said Olmert's manuscript as well as other materials were seized during a police raid on the publisher of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper over fears that their dissemination prior to censorship could cause "severe security damage.”
While in office, Olmert had warned that Israel risked being compared to apartheid-era South Africa if it failed to agree an independent Palestinian state.