Popular singer Kobi Peretz, who is serving an 18-month jail term for tax evasion, will soon leave Ma’asiyahu Prison following a decision by President Reuven Rivlin to grant Peretz’s request for a pardon.
Peretz had requested a pardon prior to commencing his sentence last October, but at the time Rivlin refused.
The president’s change of heart is within the framework of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the state. In March of this year, Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that in common with a tradition practiced in several countries to issue pardons and commute sentences on milestone national days, Israel would do the same.
Eligibility was on the basis of not having committed serious crimes, good behavior and expressions of remorse.
Peretz has behaved well in prison and has served a third of his sentence. He will be eligible for release in two months’ time after he appears before the parole board.
Peretz was convicted in May 2016 by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court for evading taxes to the tune of NIS 5.8 million.
At one stage, Peretz blamed his agent for allegedly misleading him.
But in the court’s opinion, he failed to declare millions of shekels of income and gave false information about his earnings.
He had also made threats against his agent, who in 2012 had become a state witness against him.
In the meantime, the singer has turned over a new leaf and has been a model prisoner.
More than 3,000 other prisoners fit the criteria for the 70th anniversary pardons.