Former Ramat Gan mayor Zvi Bar.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
President Reuven Rivlin has decided to reduce the sentence of former long term Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar after an appeal.
A former paratrooper and commander who previously served as a combat officer in the Givati Brigade, Bar was elected mayor of Ramat Gan in 1989 and remained in office until 2013, despite an indictment for money laundering and accepting bribes in 2011. In June 2015, Bar was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison. Following an appeal, his sentence was reduced to three years.
He entered Maasiyahu Prison - where former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert served time - in February of this year, and was subsequently diagnosed with a life threatening illness which was detected after he entered jail.
In view of his advanced age and medical condition Bar appealed to Rivlin for clemency.
Though harshly critical of Bar for abusing his role as a public servant, Rivlin took into account that fact that when Bar had appealed to the High Court for a reduction of his sentence, the court was unaware of the state of his health..
When the court did reduce his sentence, it was on the basis of his age, because it is not easy for a man in his eighties to spend a long time in prison.
Rivlin has decided to adjust Bar’s sentence so that part of it will be suspended.
Bar is due to appear before the parole committee in the next few days, and Rivlin’s gesture on humanitarian grounds will serve to reduce Bar’s total time behind bars to 15 months.