Shlomo Benizri
Photo: Gil Yohanan

State opposes Benizri's request to delay jail term

State Prosecutor's Office asks Supreme Court to deny former Shas minister's motion for six-week stay of proceedings, says it has no grounds

The State Prosecutor's Office asked the High Court to deny former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri's motion to delay the beginning of his prison sentence, citing the motion has no grounds.


Benizri, who was convicted of bribery and fraud and sentenced to four years in jail, filed for a six-week stay of proceedings on Sunday.


The former minister explained that he needed to complete a series of medical tests and also expressed his wish to spend the High Holidays with his family.


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The State said in its motion that it was in the public's interest to have the Benizri's prison sentence begin on September 1, as scheduled.


The motion further argued that Benizri's reasoning for request does not justify a stay of proceedings, especially since the State already agreed to postpone his jail time once – to September 1.


As for Shas Chairman Eli Yishai's Sunday appeal to President Shimon Peres, asking him for clemency on behalf of Benizri, Shas sources said that the party's grievance has nothing to do with the conviction per-se, but with the fact that the Supreme Court chose, on appeal, to nearly triple Benizri's sentence.


Yishai's letter, they said, was written out of sense that "a profound miscarriage of justice had taken place"; adding that the Shas chairman also appealed for amnesty on behalf of former Likud Knesset Member Naomi Blumenthal in 2007.


Ronen Medzini and Daniel Edelson contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 08.10.09, 12:38
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