Olmert to Lose Prison Privileges for Pushing Papers Past Censor

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Noam Moskowitz/Pool, File)

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will lose privileges that had accrued to him for good behavior, and may lose any opportunity for early release in the wake of attempts prison officials said he made to transfer secure documents out of prison. The documents were discovered Thursday in a search of Olmert’s cell, and officials said the former prime minister had attempted to give them to his attorney in order to publish them as part of his book.

Olmert is writing a “tell all” book that will sum up his experiences in public life. According to friends and supporters of the disgraced former prime minister quoted by Globes, the book will include “many sensational revelations about senior officials, institutions, security incidents and other ‘sacred cows.’ Everything will be up for exposing.”

Olmert supporters told Globes that his purpose in writing the book is not necessarily for profit, but “to clear his good name.” Many of the incidents mentioned in the book are extremely sensitive, the report said, and “dozens of pages” have been excluded by the IDF censor, which must give its approval for publication before the book can be released. Olmert is writing the book longhand, it added, as the former prime minister does not have access to a computer or email.

However, prison officials said, Olmert has documents that he is not passing by the military censor — and has written pages of the book that he has been trying to pass through to his publisher without submission to the censor. Prison officials said that the smuggling efforts were worthy of punishment, and they will pull privileges he has accrued. Supporters of Olmert accused the Prisons Service of leaking the story in order to further blacken the former prime minister’s reputation in an attempt to deny him parole in an upcoming hearing.

Olmert entered Maasiyahu prison in central Israel in February 2016. A plea for clemency was turned down by President Reuven Rivlin earlier this year, meaning that Olmert will have to serve his full term of 27 months in prison, which is up in the summer of 2018 — unless he is released for good behavior, which could happen at the end of 2017.