Former Israeli trade union official, Asher yadlin, was sentenced in Tel aviv, Israel on Tuesday (22 February) to a five year jail term for bribery and tax evasion.
GV Former Israeli trade union official Asher Yadlin arriving outside courthouse and being escorted in
GV INT Courtroom with counsel and relatives entering
GV EXT Trade Union buildings in Tel Aviv (3 shots)
GV Yadlin being drive away after sentence
SV Uri Avneri, former Knesset member and newspaper editor speaking
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "Do you think that the scandals will have any real effect on Labour's chances in the elections themselves?"
AVNERI: "Oh yes certainly. I'm not sure that they will affect the battle between Peres and Rabin to any great extent, but they will certainly damage the Labour Party even more because they -- in a way they dramatise all those things that the public has been thinking anyhow -- namely that the whole system is too old, too corrupt -- that we need a change -- a general change -- and this is going to be exploited by everyone who is fighting against the labour Party now."
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Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Former Israeli trade union official, Asher yadlin, was sentenced in Tel aviv, Israel on Tuesday (22 February) to a five year jail term for bribery and tax evasion.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Yadlin, who's 53, was escorted into the courthouse on the last day of his trial under heavy guard. Earlier he had admitted to accepting bribes and kickbacks on land deals while he headed the powerful Trade Union Federation's sick fund. He said that he accepted the bribes to help fill the depleted offers of Israel's ruling Labour Party. The illegal payments were made prior to the 1973 general election -- but the case has seriously embarrassed the Labour Party and cannot fail to influence voters in parliamentary elections scheduled for May.
It was in these buildings in Tel Aviv that the scandal first erupted. In addition to the jail sentence Mr. Yadlin was fined 250,000 Israeli pounds (16,400 sterling). In passing sentence District Court judge, Mrs. Hadassah Ben-Itto, said she did not believe Mr. Yadlin's claim that he had paid part of the bribe money to the labour Party in any way lessened his quilt.
During his trial Mr. Yadlin -- who was once nominated to head the Bank of Israel -- implicated a number of Labour Party leaders, including the late Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, present Finance Minister, Yehoshua Rabinowitz -- and his cousin Education Minister, Aharon Yadlin. Both Mr. Rabinowitz and Mr. Aharon yadlin have denied the allegations -- but newspaper editor Uri Avneri told reporters that he believes the scandal must affect the Labour Party's reputation.