Former Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson, who is serving a jail sentence of five and a half years for stealing about NIS 2 million (about $550,000) from the National Labor Federation (NLF), submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Hirchson's lawyers - Yaakov Weinroth, Israel Welnerman, Eliram Bekel and Avi Nadler, claimed in the appeal that the punishment given to the former minister was extremely severe and should be significantly reduced.
According to the 76-page appeal, the court referred in its ruling to a series of considerations presented by the defense counsels for a reduced sentence, but did not take give them enough heed, including the fact that Hirchson had returned all the funds he obtained illegally and the former minister's "unusual public activities" to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.
The lawyers added that the court did not take into account properly the former minister's medical condition, family circumstances and advanced age.
According to the attorneys, Hirchson's actions "are much lighter" than those of the other defendants involved in the NLF embezzlement affair, and yet he was given a more serious punishment.
The former minister began serving his sentence on September 1 at the Hermon Prison in Northern Israel. One of his associates told Ynet before he entered jail, "Hirchson understood that he has to suffer the consequences, and he regrets things which were conducted improperly."