Former Minister Shlomo Benizri
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Yariv Katz
Attorney Avi Himi
Photo: Yariv Katz

Benizri wants to go to prison after holidays

Former Shas minister convicted of bribery asks court to delay execution of his four-year-prison sentence by a month and a half in order to complete medical tests, be present at his grandchildren's birth

Former Minister Shlomo Benizri appealed the Supreme Court on Sunday, asking that the execution of his four-year prison sentence be delayed by a month and a half.


Benziri explained that he needed the extra time in order to complete medical tests, spend the High Holidays with his family, and be present at the birth of two of his grandchildren.


About a month ago, Supreme Court judges aggravated the former Shas minister's sentence after he was convicted of taking a bribe. Justice Edmond Levy explained that "the increasing corruption in the Israeli government institutions requires us to do something by setting a higher price tag."


Benizri now wants to delay the start of his jail term from September 1 top October 18. He noted in his appeal that if he were allowed to enter prison later, he would be given the chance to spend the holidays with his 81-year-old mother and witness the birth of his two grandchildren, who are expected to be born during that time.


The former minister's attorney, Avi Himi, claimed in the appeal that Benizri must undergo a specific medical examination which has been scheduled for mid September. Due to his long prison term, the lawyer said, Benizri seeks to begin his long prison term after undergoing all the medical tests needed in order to diagnose his condition.


The lawyer noted that his client spends the High Holidays with his family every year, and added that his two daughters-in-law are expected to give birth during the holidays and that Benizri wished to take part in their circumcision ceremonies.


If he has to enter prison on the original date, the lawyer said, he won't be able to take part in these events and won't be able to see his grandchildren until his first prison leave, about a year later.


"Benizri's request is a human one and the undersigned believes that accepting it, under these circumstances, will not harm the public interest, particularly because Benizri was convicted for offenses carried out eight to 12 years ago," the lawyer concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 08.09.09, 19:14
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