The State Prosecutor's Office asked the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday to deny Aryeh Deri's petition asking he be declared eligible to run for mayor of Jerusalem in the upcoming municipal elections.
Deri, who announced his mayorship bid in early September, was convicted of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in 1999. His sentence included a moral turpitude clause, which according to the Israeli Criminal Code, prevents him from running for public office for seven years. Deri's petition sought a court order expunging the clause form his record.
The petition further stated that since at the time of his incarceration, the statute for moral turpitude limited one's ability to run for public office for six years – not seven as it does today – the court should apply the previous code to his case, making him eligible to run for mayor.
Attorney Einav Golomb, for the State, told the court that the State would not be making any concessions as to the duration of the moral turpitude clause in Deri's conviction, rendering him ineligible to enter the municipal race.
Sources close to Deri told Ynet that Deri is unlikely to appeal the court's decision on the matter, should the latter accept the State's stand.
The Jerusalem District Court has yet to set a date for the hearing on the matter.
Ronen Medzini, Aviad Glickman and Amnon Meranda contributed to this report