Ovadia Cohen Hirchson crony 224 88.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
David Cohen, a former courier in the National Federation of Workers (NFW), testified Tuesday that at one time, while working for former NFW head Avraham Hirchson, he was asked by Hirchson to transfer a "fat envelope" to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"Hirchson asked me to transfer an envelope, a fat envelope, and Olmert put it in his pocket," Cohen, who is testifying against Hirchson, said in the Tel Aviv District Court Tuesday. "I don't know what the envelope contained."
Cohen, who has been convicted of stealing millions of shekels from the NFW and transferring some of the money to Hirchson, added that the prime minister, after slipping the envelope into his inner coat pocket, had thanked him for the delivery.
Cohen also told the court that he is a compulsive gambler and stole the money to cover debts to creditors who had threatened to kill him. He said he had asked his brother, Ovadia, the former manager of the NFW's finances, to help him foot the bill. Ovadia Cohen has been convicted of embezzling some NIS 10 million from the organization.
Cohen would cash checks and transfer some of the money to either his brother or Hirchson, keeping the rest to himself, he said.
Hirchson reportedly reacted to the claim with astonishment, and his lawyers said that they had never heard of the incident in question and that Cohen himself had never attested to any such occurrence during his police interrogations.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office rejected the claims out of hand and Olmert's media adviser, Amir Dan, called Cohen's testimony "a delusion."