Shas lawmaker sentenced to prison


Shas lawmaker Shlomo Benizri was fined and sentenced to prison for corruption.

The Jerusalem District Court ruled Sunday that Benizri’s offenses, including accepting bribes, breach of faith, obstructing justice and conspiracy to commit a crime, involved “moral turpitude,” requiring that he be suspended as a member of Israel’s Knesset.

He will be replaced by Ethiopian Shas list member Mazor Beheina.

Benizri, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison instead of the prosecution’s requested sentence of seven years, can return to the Knesset if he wins an appeal of the moral turpitude ruling.

“When I read the judge’s sentence, I see he wrote things which compliment every person and every citizen of the State of Israel – ‘a talented person with skills who became a rabbi in Israel, a guide, a teacher and later an MK, a minister, who raised a family of 10 people. The family devotes a significant part of its time to charity and aiding fellow men, all with Benizri’s support,'” Benizri said following the sentence.

Benizri was hospitalized last week due to the pressure surrounding the case.

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