JERUSALEM — Israel’s Justice Ministry says it has asked the police to investigate whether the country’s imprisoned former prime minister committed a “criminal offense” while behind bars.

It said Thursday that the book Ehud Olmert is writing contains “sensitive security issues” and his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter on “secret operations” not approved by the censor for publication.

Police searched the publishing house of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, but not the paper itself, it said.

Olmert was a longtime fixture in Israel’s hawkish right wing when he took a dramatically more conciliatory line toward the Palestinians about a decade ago.

He was convicted in 2014 in a wide-ranging case that accused him of accepting bribes to promote a real-estate project years before he became prime minister in 2006.

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