10 Israeli public figures sentenced to jail terms
A president, a PM, a finance minister — the non-comprehensive list of convicted politicians over the past 20 years
When former prime minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years on Tuesday for his part in a bribery case he became the country’s first former premier to be given jail time.
The case caused some sense of shame among Israelis but also pride in that nobody is above the law.
But Olmert is not the first Israeli politician to be sent to prison. Here is a glance at other prominent Israeli figures convicted by the country’s justice system:
1. President Moshe Katsav was Israel’s highest ranking official ever jailed. Katsav was forced to resign in June 2007 over rape, sexual harassment and other charges. He began his sentence in 2011.
2. Shas’s Shlomo Benizri was jailed in 2009 after convicted of taking bribes when he served as employment and social affairs minister in 2002 and 2003. He served two and a half years of a four years sentence.
3. Finance minister Avraham Hirchson (Likud/Kadima) was jailed in 2009 for embezzling millions from a union he used to run. He was released in January 2013, almost two years before his five-year sentence was up, due to good behavior. Hirchson had also been ordered to pay a 450,000 NIS fine.
4. Omri Sharon (Likud/Kadima), son of ex-prime minister Ariel Sharon, served a few months in jail in 2008 after being convicted of campaign funding violations.
5. Olmert ally Haim Ramon (Labor/Kadima) was convicted in March 2007 of kissing a female soldier against her will. He served a light sentence and then returned to Olmert’s Cabinet as vice premier.
6. Aryeh Deri, leader of the large ultra-Orthodox Shas party was jailed in 2000 for taking bribes. He served almost two years.
7. Gonen Segev (Tzomet/Yiud), a former National Infrastructure minister (now known as the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources) in 1995-1996 was convicted of drug smuggling, forgery and fraud. He received a five-year sentence.
8. Yair Levy, an MK with Shas in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, was sentenced in 1993 to serve five years for embezzlement.
9. Naomi Blumenthal, a Likud MK, was sentenced to 8 months in 2006 for obstruction of justice and bribery. She also had to pay a fine of 75,000 NIS.
10. Ofer Hugi, another former Shas MK, was convicted in 2006 of various charges including forgery and fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison.