A senior lawmaker from Israel’s Shas party was convicted on corruption charges.
Shlomo Benizri was found guilty Tuesday in Jerusalem District Court of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a case focusing on his relations with a private building contractor while serving as labor and welfare minister under a previous Israeli government.
Benizri has denied wrongdoing and may have the option of a Supreme Court appeal.
Shas caters primarily to fervently Orthodox Jews of Sephardi descent and is a major partner in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government. Following the ruling, members of the left-wing political opposition called for Benizri to resign from the Knesset.
Several years ago, then-Shas leader Aryeh Deri was convicted of fraud and served a three-year prison term.