Shlomo Lahiani, the disgraced former mayor of Bat Yam, was granted parole by the Israel Prisons Service on Monday after serving just over half of his eight-month sentence for bribery and corruption.
The parole board at Hermon Prison said it granted Lahiani’s conditional release for good behavior after he expressed remorse for his actions.
In 2014, Lahiani, 48 pleaded guilty to breach of trust, failing to declare and pay taxes on NIS 8 million (around $2,200,000) in income and of accepting bribes of some NIS 900,000 (around $250,000).
The state attorney had originally demanded at least a year of time, but Lahiani’s defense successfully negotiated the bribery charges stricken from the original indictment under a plea bargain. He was then sentenced to six months of community service without any prison time.
Later that year, the state attorney appealed the relatively light sentence to the Tel Aviv District Court, arguing that the lower court handed Lahiani too lenient a punishment.
Presiding Judge Dvora Berliner agreed with state prosecutors, and sentenced Lahiani to eight months behind bars, expressing hope the prison time would help deter corruption by establishing that a breach of trust conviction carried an “unequivocal” sentence.
Berliner also fined Lahiani NIS 250,000, and banned him from holding political office for seven years.
On Monday, the parole board at Hermon Prison said Lahiani had admitted to committing the offenses and said he “fully understands he exploited his position in an illegal manner.”
“The prisoner has been working in a cutlery factory and has not shown any signs of disciplinary problems,” the board wrote in its decision.
In a statement, it said Lahiani was “actively involved” in his rehabilitation process, and noted his commitment to sessions with the prison social worker.
Under the terms of his early release, Lahiani is not allowed to leave the country and will be placed under house arrest every evening from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning. He is also required to report to his local police station every other week.
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