Court Convicts Hirchson Confidant of Embezzlement

Evidence stage in trial against former finance minister closes - without Hirchson.

The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday convicted the confidant and key witness in the trial against former finance minister Abraham Hirchson of embezzlement.

Ovadia Cohen confessed to stealing and fraudulently taking NIS 10 million from Nili, a nonprofit associated with the National Labor Union, for Hirchson.

His conviction marked the end of the evidence stage in the ongoing trial against the former finance minister, as Hirchson himself was conspicuously absent from the first part of the hearing.

The court approved the plea bargain that Cohen had struck with the prosecution and convicted him on counts of embezzlement, money laundering and falsifying corporate registration.

Hirchson is suspected of stealing NIS 2.5 million from the union and from Nili while serving as head of the Histadrut labor federation between 1998-2005.

He is faced with an indictment for embezzlement, money laundering, falsifying corporate registration, fraud and breach of trust.