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    Israel’s ex-PM Olmert gets light sentence

     Olmert was fined $18,000.
    Olmert was fined $18,000.

    JERUSALEM — A court ordered former prime minister Ehud Olmert Monday to pay a fine and serve a one-year suspended sentence for his role in a corruption case that forced him from ­office, a relatively light punishment that could clear the way for a political comeback.

    Olmert, who had faced the possibility of jail time or community service, was ordered to pay an $18,000 fine. By avoiding those stiffer penalties, the former leader is now eligible to run for Parliament, though he remains barred from serving in a Cabinet post.

    Olmert, 66, has not said whether he wants to seek ­office again, but confidants say he is certainly considering it.

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    Olmert was deeply unpopular when he was forced from office. But recently, many commentators have lamented the breakdown in Mideast peace efforts and wondered whether ­Olmert might have delivered an agreement if he had not been driven from office.