Ehud Olmert said to withdraw request to erase his criminal record
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Ehud Olmert said to withdraw request to erase his criminal record

Disgraced former PM, who served 16 months for graft, reportedly realized president would not grant appeal, which would have allowed his return to politics

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks during a conference in Tel Aviv, on February 7, 2018. (Flash90)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks during a conference in Tel Aviv, on February 7, 2018. (Flash90)

Disgraced former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who served 16 months behind bars for bribery, withdrew his appeal to President Reuven Rivlin to erase his criminal record on Thursday, saying he realized it would not be granted, Hebrew media reported.

The move would have allowed Olmert, 72, to return to politics.

Olmert had appealed to the president in April, ahead of Israel’s 70th independence celebrations.

Olmert recently published a book in which he proclaimed his innocence and heaped the blame for his downfall on “right-wing extremist forces” backed by unnamed Jewish American billionaires.

The Movement for Quality Government had urged Rivlin to reject the request, given the gravity of Olmert’s offenses.

Then-prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks during the appointment of Reuven Rivlin as Knesset speaker, March 30, 2009. (Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)

Olmert was released from prison in July 2017. His request for a presidential pardon made while he was still behind bars was turned down.

However, the president did agree to shorten Olmert’s 27-month sentence to the time he had actually served, thereby releasing him from parole restrictions imposed after his early release from prison.

Rivlin’s decision freed Olmert to travel abroad and released him from the requirement to check in with his local police station twice each month for 11 months.

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