JERUSALEM (Sep. 25)
Aharon Abu Hatzeira, leader of the Tami party, will serve his three-month prison sentence as a day worker for the police. He will spend his nights at home. This was confirmed by a police spokesman today who said Tel Aviv police chief, Superintendent Avraham Turjeman, agreed to the request by Hatzeira’s lawyer, Ram Caspi.
The former Cabinet minister was convicted of embezzling funds from a charitable organization during the 1970’s. He was originally given a suspended sentence but the Supreme Court ruled on appeal earlier this year that he must serve a prison term. Abu Hatzeira said he was willing to go to jail but recently had second thoughts, according to newspaper reports.
Under the law, short-term prisoners may work off their time outside prison, at the discretion of the senior police officer. Turjeman assigned him to work at a Tel Aviv police station.
Abu Hatzeira, who resigned after his conviction as Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Immigrant Absorption in Premier Menachem Begin’s coalition Cabinet, will not give up his Knesset seat. The law requires that only felons sentenced to one year or more in prison must quit the Knesset.
He is also expected to resume his Cabinet post in the next government when his sentence is completed. His portfolio is presently held by a Tami colleague, Aharon Uzan, who has promised to bow out as soon as Abu Hatzeira is released.