Ex-member of Israeli parliament sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption

Former Knesset member and leader of the Yisrael Beytenu party Faina Kirshenbaum was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery, tax offenses, money laundering, fraud and breach of trust. The Times of Israel newspaper reports.

Investigators believe that Kirshenbaum used her official position and access to the state budget to carry out corruption schemes from 2006 to 2014.

Judge said Kirshenbaum had taken bribes in a «systematic, cunning and sophisticated» manner over six years from different parties in the amount of about 2 million shekels ($604,000).

Moreover, she was also handed a fine of 900,000 shekels ($274,000).

In this case, the court also sentenced the former head of the ministry of agriculture Rami Cohen to two and a half years in prison for helping Kirschenbaum in her corruption scheme.

Kirshenbaum’s lawyer called the verdict «disproportionately cruel», vowing to appeal the ruling to the Israeli Supreme Court.

Party general secretary Kirshenbaum was elected to the Knesset in 2009 and served as deputy minister of the interior from 2013 to 2015.