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Sep 15, 6:04 AM EDT

Israel court: Olmert to remain free pending appeal

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's Supreme Court on Monday postponed the start of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's prison sentence pending appeal on his conviction on corruption charges.

Court spokeswoman Shirli Koren said the decision allows Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, to remain free until a ruling on his appeal is made. That decision is expected within three months.

Olmert, 68, was convicted in March in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a controversial real-estate project in Jerusalem. He was charged for acts while he was mayor of Jerusalem and national trade minister, years before he became prime minister.

He was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison in May, making him the first Israeli prime minister to be sentenced to jail time since the establishment of the state in 1948.

Olmert resigned as prime minister in 2009 following his corruption indictment.

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