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Law And Order

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert starts 19-month prison sentence

Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister of Israel, started his 19-month prison sentence Monday at the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel, after being convicted in March 2014 of bribery and obstruction of justice.

The 70-year-old now has the dubious distinction of becoming the first Israeli premier to be imprisoned. Olmert was accused of taking bribes to promote a real estate project in Jerusalem while serving as the mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister, The Associated Press reports. He was originally sentenced to six years, but it was reduced to 18 months.

Olmert, who resigned as prime minister in 2009, released a video before going to prison, calling on Israelis to remember his peacemaking efforts, and said he rejected "outright all the corruption allegations against me." Olmert will be held in a separate wing for security reasons, and will receive "good treatment like the rest of the prisoners, but not any better than them," a former prison service official told Channel 2 TV in Israel. He is also awaiting a ruling in an appeal filed for a different case, in which he was sentenced to eight months in prison for illegally accepting money from a U.S. supporter.