Rivlin Pardons Pandemic Debtor

President Reuven Rivlin signing pardon for an applicant who incurred debts during the coronavirus crisis. (Courtesy of Beit HaNasi)

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has granted the first pardon as part of the special process for those in debt because of fines and financial difficulties caused by of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first request the president acceded to came from a single mother of three children, of whom two have handicaps, who has suffered domestic violence and had outstanding fines. Today, the applicant is supported with disability benefits and is engaged in long-term rehabilitation for addiction.

Adding to the desperate nature of her situation, the woman was in threat of eviction from her home and was forced to rely on donations. The applicant met all the requirements of the special process, and since she had made efforts to pay off her debts and had even made some of the payments, the president decided to cancel the remainder of her debt, totaling thousands of shekels, according to a statement from Rivlin’s office.

Just over a week ago, Rivlin and Minister of Justice Avi Nissenkorn announced the special pardons process.

The president’s office noted that “this process will not consider applications for reductions in fines imposed for breaking the instructions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, parking fines and charges and dues outside of the authority of the president. The process applies only to those requests for reduction in fines imposed for criminal or road traffic offenses in the past which have accumulated late fees and where the applicant has made efforts to pay through a payment plan and whose financial situation has worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic.”