High Court registrar Oded Shaham today ordered the state prosecution to erase

Israel Phoenix Assurance Company

from its appeal in the insurance cartel case, within ten days.

The Jerusalem District Court had found Phoenix guilty of price fixing and fined it NIS 12 million.

The state appealed, on the grounds that the damage the cartel had caused was serious, and that the punishments imposed on the Phoenix and the Ayalon insurance company, and its managers, were insufficient. The state sought to have the fines tripled. Alon had been fined NIS 6.6 million.

Upon the state's appeal, the Phoenix also filed an appeal, to have it erased from the state's appeal on technical grounds: that the appeal had been filed after 105 days, not 45 days from the verdict.

The Phoenix claimed that it had sought an extension to file an appeal, but the state had refused, hence the state itself should have filed its own appeal within the time limit.

The other parties had received an extension to appeal from the state, but their petition had not included the Phoenix.

The state claimed it had agreed to give the other parties 60 extra days to appeal, conditional on the extension compelling all the parties, hence its acquiescence included the Phoenix too.

The High Court, however, found for the Phoenix.