Pop star Kobi Peretz released from prison

Mizrachi superstar released early from prison after serving half of this 18-month sentence for tax evasion.

Tzvi Lev ,

Kobi Peretz in court
Kobi Peretz in court
Flash 90

Israeli music star Kobi Peretz was freed from prison on Sunday after serving 9 months out of his 19-month sentence for tax evasion.

Peretz, who was convicted in 2016 for a long string of tax violations, left Ramle's Maasiyahu prison surrounded by family and friends. Peretz's early release was part of a campaign by President Rivlin to pardon hundreds of criminals in honor of Israel's 70th birthday and was supported by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked despite opposition by the State Attorney's office.

Peretz had first entered prison in 2017 after being found guilty of cheating the state out of more than NIS 5.2 million in taxes, a charge which he consistently denied. While in prison, the music star had shared a cell with former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger.

Peretz's attorney Haim Levy told the assembled media that his client would "put this chapter behind him" and highlighted his claims that the conviction had been groundless. "He seeks to rehabilitate his life and professional and musical endeavors. Peretz took responsibility, served his sentence and paid taxes in substantial sums," said Levi. "Kobi paid a heavy personal price for the irresponsible conduct of others who fooled him when he was at the beginning of his career. "

"Today he feels good and looks forward to returning to his family, to an audience that is already waiting for him and his friends. Upon his release, Peretz turned his attention to professional activity, with the intention of continuing to delight the Jewish people in its musical activity. "