Former Israeli ministers enter prison

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two former Israeli government ministers entered prison.

Abraham Hirchson, a Kadima Party member who served as finance minister under Ehud Olmert, and Shlomo Benizri, a Shas member who served as health minister and labor and social welfare minister in different govenments, both entered prison Tuesday.

Hirchson will serve five years in Hermon Prison in northern Israel for embezzlement and fraud. Benizri will serve four years in Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle for taking bribes.  

Also Tuesday, the rape and sex crimes trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katsav opened in Tel Aviv District Court. The trial is closed to the public and the media to protect the privacy of Katsav’s accuser.

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