State strikes first plea bargain in Hirchson fraud case
Prosecution agrees to plead out former workers' organization accountant Ronit Garti in exchange for testimony in former finance minister's trial. Garti to admit to falsifying corporate documents, face suspended sentence, six months of community service
The Tel Aviv District Court was asked Monday to sanction the first plea bargain in the fraud case pending against former Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson.
According to the plea, Ronit Garti – a former accountant with the National Workers' Organization (NWO), who was indicted for falsifying corporate documents – would plead guilty to all charges and testify in Hirchson's upcoming trial, in exchange for a suspended sentence and six-months community service.
Garti, 44, was accused of using her position with in the NWO in order to relay funds, in the form of cash payments and checks, to Hirchson – then the organization's chairman.
According to the plea, Garti is to plead guilty to relaying monthly payments to the amount of NIS 25,000 (approx. $7000) to the former finance minister.
Once the court grants the plea agreement, the State, via prosecutor Lilach Shalom, is expected to demand Garti be sentence to six-months community service and a suspended sentence. The defense is expected to ask the court for a suspended sentence alone.
Garti's is a minor indictment in the overall case against Hirchson, but the fact that the State Prosecutor's Office agreed to a plea bargain in her case may suggest that it would be willing to the same in the other accessories indicted in the case.
Her admission of guilt and subsequent testimony are expected to be detrimental to Hirchson's case.