Ex-finance Minister Hirchson Indicted for Stealing NIS 2 Million

Hirchson charged with embezzlement, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and falsifying documents.

Former finance minister Abraham Hirchson was indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday on charges of stealing between NIS 2 million and NIS 2.5 million from two organizations he headed between 1998 and 2005 - the National Workers Organization (NWO) and a subsidiary, Nili.

Hirchson was charged with embezzlement, fraud, aggravated fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and falsifying corporate documents.

According to the indictment, he conspired with other NWO officials, three of whom are also named in the indictment, to take the money for personal use.

The indictment states that between 2000 and 2003, Hirchson took NIS 25,000 in cash every month for "payment of expenses," and twice a year, he received a "holiday bonus" of between NIS 10,000 and NIS 30,000.

He is also suspected of receiving between $2,000 and $3,000 for every trip he took abroad - amounting to somewhere between NIS 500,000 and NIS 750,000 in total - and of receiving money to finance his primary campaigns in 1998 and 2002, to the tune of approximately NIS 600,000.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced his intention to indict Hirchson a month ago, but was then required to wait 30 days before filing the indictment, to give Hirchson a chance to ask the Knesset to invoke his parliamentary immunity.

However, Hirchson announced that he would not be invoking his immunity. Thus Wednesday, at the end of the 30-day period, the way will be clear for the prosecution to indict him.