TEL AVIV Feb 9 Nochi Dankner, once one of
Israel's most powerful businessmen who lost his business empire
in the global financial crisis, has appealed to the country's
supreme court against his conviction for manipulating share
In December, he was sentenced to two years in jail after
being found guilty in July.
It is expected to take several months until the Supreme
Court hears the case and in the meantime Dankner will remain
free, a source close to the 62-year-old said on Thursday.
Dankner's companies included a major supermarket chain,
cellphone operator, airline and one of the country's main
In February 2012, after things had turned sour for his
business empire, Dankner created a false impression there was
strong interest in the stock of his IDB conglomerate to help a
share sale, when in reality there was not, a Tel Aviv district
court judge found in July.
In his appeal, Dankner argues the district court found there
was no planning in advance to affect IDB's share price but the
judge chose to ignore that.
Dankner said his actions at the time of the share issue were
"reasonable and legitimate actions" and the interpretations
given by the district court judge "were given in retrospect" and
that he had no motive for market manipulation.
IDB had a complex pyramid of control with multiple levels of
holding firms and subsidiaries. It hit hard times when the
market crashed and some investments, such as a major Las Vegas
real estate deal, failed.
Dankner's case has led to economic reforms in Israel, with
the government passing regulations to increase market
competition and limit pyramid-style companies.
Control of IDB and its subsidiaries has since been sold to
Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Mark Potter)