Ex-Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov heads to prison

Former minister admitted to conditioning funds for a music festival on organizers hiring his girlfriend.

Tzvi Lev,

Stas Misezhnikov enters Hermon prison
Stas Misezhnikov enters Hermon prison
Basel Awidat/Flash9

Former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Yisrael Beytenu) entered the Hermon jail on Sunday to begin serving his 15-month sentence for corruption.

Misezhnikov who was found guilty of breach of trust, signed a plea bargain agreement in which he will serve a 15-month sentence and pay a fine of 70,000 NIS. As part of a plea agreement, Misezhnikov admitted that he told organizers of a music festival in Eilat that they would only receive government funding if they would agree to hire his girlfriend.

Misezhnikov managed to avoid criminal charges stemming from his rampant drug use, including cocaine. In 2014 Channel 2 reported that he had been known for his heavy drinking, drug use,and wild parties which lasted until the early hours of the morning.

In addition, the report alleged that Misezhnikov was unable to attend a crucial cabinet meeting in 2010 concerning whether to release terrorists in return for captured soldier Gilad Shalit due to having been intoxicated at the time. Misezhnikov's bodyguards had also complained to the Defense Ministry numerous times that his lifestyle of substance abuse and drinking was making it impossible for them to effectively guard him.

"I confess and I'm very sorry. I take full responsibility for my error in judgment. I'm far from being a corrupt man. There are no patterns here. I'm paying a heavy price even today. Now, I'll have to start everything anew. But I'm determined after having taken responsibility for committing the offense to rehabilitate my life and the life of my family" Misezhnikov had said at his sentencing.


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