Police have not ruled out the possibility that Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson is being framed, a source close to the investigation for alleged embezzlement reported Sunday. Israel Radio reported that while unusually large deposits had been found in Hirchson's bank accounts, and he would have to explain the sources of the money, he "may have explanations that will satisfy us with regard to the deposits," the source said. Hirchson is currently suspsected of embezzling aproximately NIS 10 million from non-profit organizations.
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New documents released over the weekend have assuaged suspicions that Hirchson embezzled money from the NGO operating the March of the Living, an annual event that brings Jewish youth from around the world together with Holocaust survivors to commemorate the tragedy, the News First Class Web site reported Saturday.
According to the report, Hirchson did not steal funds, but merely gave cash to March of the Living representatives to cover their expenses abroad. The report also stated that the cash transfer had been recorded as required by law. However, it was still unclear how the recipients of the money actually spent it.
From Thursday's investigation of Ovadia Cohen, the former head of Nili, an organization that operated educational institutions under the umbrella of the National Labor Federation, it emerged that Hirchson received dollar-filled envelopes on the eve of a visit abroad in addition to envelopes containing tens of thousands of shekels that had already been delivered directly to his home.
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz is expected to decide on Wednesday whether the evidence against Hirchson is sufficient to have the finance minister suspended.