אריה דרעי מגיש מכתב התפטרות ליו"ר הכנסת מיקי לוי
Aryeh Deri hands in his resignation to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy
Photo: Noam Moskowitz, Knesset spokesperson
Aryeh Deri hands in his resignation to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy

Shas leader Aryeh Deri submits his resignation from Knesset

Haredi party's chief resigned following a plea deal over tax offenses; resignation set to take effect within 48 hours, according to law; Deri says he intends to continue leading Shas with 'full strength and faith'

Moran Azulay |
Published: 01.23.22, 12:26
Leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party Aryeh Deri on Sunday submitted his resignation letter from Knesset.
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  • The leader of the ultra-Orthodox party submitted the letter to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy following a plea deal over tax offenses that obliges him to quit parliament.
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    אריה דרעי מגיש מכתב התפטרות ליו"ר הכנסת מיקי לוי
    אריה דרעי מגיש מכתב התפטרות ליו"ר הכנסת מיקי לוי
    Aryeh Deri hands in his resignation to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy
    (Photo: Noam Moskowitz, Knesset spokesperson)
    In addition to his resignation, the deal will also see the leader of the Ultra-Orthodox party plead guilty to two tax offenses, as well as pay a fine of NIS 180,000 (57,000 dollar) in exchange for a suspended sentence.
    The founder and leader of the Ultra-Orthodox party said he will remain as Shas' chief, and Yosef Taieb will replace him in the Knesset after 48 hours, according to the law.
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who filed the charges, said that he will not claim Deri acted on the grounds of "moral turpitude" - which would have seen the disgraced Shas leader banned from politics for seven years. However, Mandelblit will retain the right to do so in the future if Deri decides to return to politics.
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    אריה דרעי
    אריה דרעי
    Shas leader Aryeh Deri
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    The controversial deal sparked criticism from various good governance groups, who claimed it lets Deri off easy and paves the way for a swift comeback to politics despite the alleged crimes.
    After signing the plea deal Deri said: "I thank god these seven excruciating years of questioning and investigation are over, it has been very difficult for me and my family."
    Deri said that he intends to continue leading the Ultra-Orthodox party with "full strength and faith."
    "When it comes to the tax offenses, I decided to take responsibility for the mistakes I made without a malicious intent, in order to put this affair behind me and save us a whole trial," he said.
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    אביחי מנדלבליט בכנס שנתיים לפטירתו של מאיר שמגר
    אביחי מנדלבליט בכנס שנתיים לפטירתו של מאיר שמגר
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit
    (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
    The plea deal came almost a year after Mandelblit announced he intends to file charges against Deri for tax offenses - despite the police's recommendation that the Shas chairman be indicted for fraud and breach of trust, money laundering, obstruction of justice and perjury.
    Deri was previously sentenced to three years in prison for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in 2000 during a stint as interior minister in the 1990s. He served 22 months in prison but made a political comeback and retook the reins of Shas in 2013.

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