Prisons Service denies Olmert’s request for DVDs in prison
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Prisons Service denies Olmert’s request for DVDs in prison

Former premier serving 18-month sentence for graft; officials vow to treat him like any other prisoner

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the press at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on December 29, 2015. (Amit Shabi/Pool)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the press at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on December 29, 2015. (Amit Shabi/Pool)

The Israel Prisons Service recently denied a request by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert to watch DVDs in his cell.

According to a Channel 2 report Monday, Olmert asked to receive dozens of movie DVDs in his cell, but his request was denied by the prison authorities.

The service has refitted a wing in Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle especially to house the former prime minister, keeping him in a separate complex shared only by carefully screened fellow convicts. The special arrangements are intended to keep not only Olmert himself safe, but also the trove of sensitive state secrets he carries with him.

The service has said that beyond those necessary measures, it would not treat the ex-PM differently from any other prisoner.

Monday’s report marks the third time the Prisons Service has denied a request from the former prime minister.

His request for furlough so he could attend the funeral of former Mossad chief Meir Dagan on March 20 was turned down, despite the close friendship between the two men. Prison authorities said Olmert had not yet met the necessary criteria for a furlough, Channel 2 reported.

Earlier this month, Olmert filed a request to be allowed to attend the bar mitzvah celebration of his first grandson. The IPS denied that request too, which came only days after Olmert began serving his 18-month prison term.

The former prime minister and two-term mayor of Jerusalem 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, including in connection with the construction of Jerusalem’s massive Holyland residential complex. In December 2015, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence to 18 months in prison after overturning one of the convictions of the Tel Aviv District Court.

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