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      Former Minister Hirschson Released from Prison

      Avraham Hirschson out early after stealing 2.3 million shekels. Disgraced former minister plans to 'thank G-d, hug my family.'
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 1/16/2013, 10:42 AM

      Avraham Hirschson in court (file)
      Avraham Hirschson in court (file)
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Former Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson was released from prison on Wednesday morning. He walked free after serving just three years and five months of a more than five-year sentence for theft, fraud and other offenses.

      Hirschson was released early due to good behavior.

      He served as Finance Minister under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He was convicted of a string of offenses relating to the theft of 2.3 million shekels from the Histadrut national union in the late 1990s.

      A Tel Aviv court convicted Hirschson of larceny, fraud, executive theft, money laundering, breach of trust, obtaining money through fraud, and falsifying documents.

      Upon his release, Hirschson told reporters, “Now I’m going to go thank G-d for getting me out in good health, and to hug my family.” He said he would “say what I want to say” about the affair at a later date.

      Hirschson had previously argued that his actions were “stupid and unethical” but that they did not in any way constitute theft.

      After his release Hirschson, who is a widower, is expected to live with one of his adult sons. The family faces additional legal troubles in the near future: one of Hirschson’s sons, Barak, faces prison time for careless driving and driving while intoxicated involving a motorcycle crash that left his then-girlfriend critically injured.