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2 FORMER ISRAEL MINISTERS JAILED FOR FRAUD AND CORRUPTION


Abraham Hirchson, Israel's former finance minister, has been jailed for five-and-a-half years on theft and fraud charges.Hirchson was also fined $115,000 on Wednesday by the Tel Aviv District Court for stealing about $600,000 from the National Federation of Workers and its subsidiary organisation, Nili.
Hirchson had led the trade union before becoming a minister in the coalition formed by his former ally Ehud Olmert, Israel's former prime minister, in 2006.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israel's highest appeals court sentenced Shlomo Benizri, another former cabinet minister, to four years in prison for corruption, more than doubling the sentence he originally received for taking bribes.
The judges said they extended Benizri's sentence to set an example and to fight back against a tide of corruption in Israeli public life.
"There is a phenomenon of increasing corruption in Israeli society, to which the institutions of power have not been immune," the appeals judges wrote in a verdict, increasing the former welfare and health minister's sentence from 18 months.
Benizri, a member of the Jewish ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was a minister from 2000 to 2003 in successive left- and right-led coalition governments.
Courtesy: Al Jazeera
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