Rivlin Shortens Israeli Tycoon Dankner’s Sentence Due to Poor Health

Nochi Dankner, the former head of the IDB group, started serving his sentence for insider trading in October 2018

Nochi Dankner before heading into the prison to begin his sentence, Ramle, December 22, 2018.
Ofer Vaknin

President Reuven Rivlin has commuted the three-year sentence of businessman Nochi Dankner due to the latter’s poor health, shortening it by four months. Dankner, the former head of the IDB group, began serving his sentence for insider trading in October, 2018. His prison term will be replaced by a suspended sentence.

In the next few days Dankner will face a parole board, which may further shorten the sentence. If approved, he could be free by the end of this month.

Last February Dankner applied for a pardon and for the striking of his criminal record. The second part of his request was denied.

The president’s residence said that the decision was based on Dankner’s health. “These are medical circumstances that were not present during his sentencing. Medical reports indicate that his condition deteriorated during his imprisonment, requiring urgent intervention,” said the statement.

Dankner’s doctors were summoned to the president’s residence last week in order to give their medical opinion of his condition. The businessman is expected to undergo surgery at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv after his release.

Last week, state prosecutors closed a criminal investigation that was opened against Dankner after he was sent to prison. That investigation had suspended the handling of his request for a pardon. State prosecutors closed the investigation after the police failed to find enough evidence to back the version of a prisoner in Dankner’s ward who had filed a complaint against him.

Dankner, who once controlled the biggest business group in Israel, lost his appeal against his original two-year sentence, which was then increased to three years by the Supreme Court.