Tel Aviv (Apr. 15)
– Former Knesset member and Mayor of Rehovot, Shmuel Rechtman, was released from prison today, two months earlier than the due date, after being granted a pardon by President Yitzhak Navon yesterday.
Rechtman, sentenced for accepting bribes while Mayor and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, was pardoned because of ill health. Acting
on the advice of the Health Minister, Navon said in the pardon he was also taking into consideration Rechtman’s “exemplary behavior” while in prison, teaching other prisoners and helping to train them for a life outside.
Rechtman was warmly greeted when he returned to Rehovot. Many residents said they would vote for him again as mayor. “He did a good job and has paid the penalty, “residents noted. Rechtman still insists he was not guilty of accepting a bribe in the form of an apartment from a builder to whom he granted a special building license.