Former judge Dan Cohen was sentenced Monday to six years in jail and ordered to pay a fine of NIS 10 million (some $2.8 million), ending a several-year saga that saw him flee to Peru before being returned to Israel in March.
Cohen, who also served as a director of the Israel Electric Corporation, was indicted in absentia for fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice in 2009. According to the original indictment, Cohen took millions of shekels in bribes from multinational firms such as Siemens while directing the IEC.
This trial had to do with “the person who the public entrusted with one of the companies most crucial for Israel’s economy,” Judge Khaled Kabub wrote in his sentence. “The taking of bribery by such a senior figure in the electric company, out of pure, extreme and ugly greed, is a cynical abuse of the entire public’s trust.”
The sentence was part of a plea bargain.
Kabub said he approved the plea bargain since, in his opinion, Cohen deserved to be behind bars for a time period of some five to seven years.
Cohen fled Israel for Peru in 2005 after learning of the suspicions against him. In March, Cohen was arrested by Peruvian authorities in Lima and sent to Israel, despite the fact that Israel and Peru do not have an extradition agreement.
Cohen was appointed to serve on the Israel Electric Corporation’s board of directors in 1991 by then-energy and infrastructure minister Yuval Ne’eman of the Tehiya party. Previously, he had served as a judge in the Beersheba District Court.
Asher Zeiger contributed to this report.