Israeli court jails ex-minister
Mr Hirchson was finance minister in the government of Ehud Olmert
Former Israeli Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson has been sentenced to five years in jail for theft.
Hirchson, an ally of former PM Ehud Olmert, was found guilty of stealing half a million dollars from the trade union he led.
Mr Olmert was forced to resign last year over multiple corruption probes. He denies all wrongdoing.
Separately, an appeals court lengthened the sentence of another former minister convicted of corruption.
Shlomo Benizri, a member of the religious party Shas, had his term for taking bribes extended from 18 months to four years.
Hirchson, who was finance minister in Mr Olmert's centrist Kadima-led government, was sentenced to five years and five months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 450,000 Israeli shekels ($114,500).
Reading the sentence, Judge Bracha Ofir-Tom, said: "It's inconceivable that he did not understand that taking the money is not only against the law, but also damages the heart of good governance," Israeli news paper Yediot Ahranot reported.
"The message coming out of this court must be loud and clear - a punishment which will not be different from that of a regular felon."