Hirchson to be questioned again on alleged embezzlement

Police are looking into bank account transactions of Hirchson and his son.

hirchson 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
hirchson 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson faces a second barrage of questioning later this week, as police continue to investigate allegations that he embezzled funds from organizations that he led. Hirchson was questioned for seven hours on Tuesday, but police were forced to limit their questioning, as the minister was involved in 11th-hour negotiations to try to prevent the general strike. Police are looking into transactions in bank accounts belonging to Hirchson and his son Ofer, trying to determine who was passing money to who. Over the weekend, documents emerged supporting Hirchson's claim that the cash he was caught with at a Polish airport 10 years ago was intended for the coffers of the March of the Living, which he founded, and not for personal use. But nothing similar has surfaced to explain irregular transactions that occurred during Hirchson's tenure as head of the National Workers Union. Initially, police believed that Ovadia Cohen, the former head of Nili, an organization that operated educational institutions under the umbrella of the union, embezzled approximately NIS 5.5 million. But police, now suspect that Hirchson received some - perhaps most - of the money. At least one former Hirchson employee said last week that he had seen the minister, back when he was head of the labor organization, accepting envelopes "full of cash" from Cohen.