hirchson top- use for conviction 298.175.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin rejected on Monday the appeal of former
finance minister Avraham Hirchson against his conviction and sentence on four
counts of stealing millions of shekels from the National Workers Labor
Federation during his time as chairman.
In 2009, Hirchson was convicted
in the Tel Aviv District Court and sentenced to 65 months in prison and a fine
of NIS 450,000.
The charges of theft for which Hirchson was found guilty
include receipt of monthly payments of between NIS 25,000 and NIS 30,000, which
were brought to his home in cash envelopes between 2000 and
Hirchson was also found guilty of theft by receiving monies to
celebrate the holidays, receiving money for trips abroad and stealing money to
finance personal medical treatments.
In his appeal, Hirchson claimed the
monthly sums were paid to him as a “sort of salary” for his work in the
federation, and therefore he did not steal the money.
claimed he had needed to hide the payments because of the prohibition on
receiving wages from any other body except the Knesset according to the MK
The Supreme Court rejected Hirchson’s arguments, holding
this version contradicted his previous versions, that it was raised by the
defense only at a later stage and that it went against “financial reality, logic
and common sense.
“In a world where cash is disappearing, to receive
money in cash envelopes such that those monies are not documented or recorded
openly in the organization’s ledgers, is a clear indication that the payments
are not kosher. Such cash envelopes raise a red flag of illegality that imposes
on the person receiving them the burden of proving that the payments are
kosher,” Rivlin wrote in his ruling.
The court also rejected Hirchson’s
appeal of his sentence, and instead held that it reflects the severity of his
“[Hirchson] was convicted of stealing huge sums from the coffers
of public bodies he had headed for years. Taking these funds, which were meant
to serve the public needs of members of the National Workers Labor Federation,
and using them for personal needs, requires a punishment that is consistent with
the severity of these acts,” the justice wrote.