Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, currently serving a 27-month prison sentence for various corruption-related offenses, has asked for a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin.
The president’s office on Tuesday confirmed receiving a pardon request from Olmert, and said it was sent to the Justice Ministry for a legal opinion.
Olmert was one of eight former officials and businessmen convicted in March 2014 in the Holyland real estate corruption case, which officials have characterized as among the largest graft cases in Israel’s history.
He was sentenced in 2014 to six years in prison over two separate charges of taking bribes in the early 2000s, when he served as mayor of the capital. That sentence was reduced to 18 months after the Supreme Court overturned one of his convictions on appeal.
He began serving his sentence at Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle last February.
In the pardon request, Olmert’s lawyers said the former prime minister had “suffered enough.”
“The time has come to end the suffering of Ehud Olmert and to make use of the attribute of mercy,” the request read, according to Channel 2.
In September, Olmert was sentenced to an additional eight months behind bars for the so-called Talansky affair. In that case, a court upheld a 2015 conviction over his accepting envelopes full of cash from American businessman and fundraiser Morris Talansky in exchange for political favors during his decade-long term as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
In July, after rejecting his two previous requests for leave, the Israel Prisons Service determined that Olmert, who had completed the first third of his sentence, was eligible for a brief furlough.
The Prisons Service refitted a wing in the Ramle prison to house the former prime minister, keeping him in a separate complex shared only by carefully screened fellow convicts.