Former Israeli Business Tycoon Nochi Dankner Appeals Conviction

“The verdict in the Nochi Dankner case, as admitted by the Court itself, is based on circumstantial evidence.

The conclusion drawn by the Court from the circumstantial evidence is illogical, and is not the only possible conclusion.

There is a reasonable explanation mandating Dankner’s acquittal for the facts proved in Court… Convicting the accused merely because the prosecution’s version of events appears more likely runs the risk of disorder and adopting the standard of proof used in civil law,” former IDB Holding Company chairman Nochi Dankner wrote in his appeal filed today at the Supreme Court.

Dankner was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court in February 2012 of manipulating IDB Holding’s shares, reporting violations, and money laundering.

He asserts that he should be acquitted, and is also appealing his sentence of two years and an NIS 800,000 fine imposed by Tel Aviv District Court Judge Khaled Kabub.

Through Advocates Giora Adereth and Ifat Manor-Nahari, who represented Dankner in the District Court, and Advocates Michal Rosen-Ozer and Ephrat Barzilai, who joined the defense team for the Supreme Court appeal, Dankner argues, “Judge Kabub’s errors in analyzing the evidence and drawing conclusions are errors affecting the root of his verdict.

Not only is the convicting conclusion not the only logical conclusion arising from the evidence, but the ‘tale’ told in the verdict is inconsistent with logic.

The logical explanation of the facts given by Dankner was dismissed without having been considered.” According to Dankner, “Kabub’s errors led to a mistaken ruling that Dankner’s actions were accompanied by the intention to influence the share price.

The possibility that Dankner had not acted deliberately to affect the share price is the likely and logical possibility arising from the evidence.”

The first part of the appeal by Dankner and his four layers addresses the alleged errors made by Kabub in his findings concerning Dankner’s familiarity with the activity of Itay Strum and his awareness of it.

“A correct examination of the evidence shows that Dankner regarded Strum as someone who had decided to invest in IDB shares for legitimate economic reasons.”

The second part of the appeal focuses on an assessment of Dankner’s actions in helping Strum.

According to the appeal, an examination of the evidence shows that the help given to Strum by Dankner – in a conversation with Ilan Batzri from First International Bank of Israel (TASE: FTIN) in referring buyers and providing loans – is consistent with help in legitimate activity of investing in IDB.”

The third part of the appeal focuses on what Dankner calls “The District Court’s fundamental error concerning the existence of a motive for influencing the IDB share price.”

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