MK Tzahi Hanegbi
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Yitzhak Navon, among supporters
Photo: Haim Tzach
MK Tzahi Hanegbi, who was convicted of perjury but absolved of nepotism charges, filed letters from a number of esteemed public figures with the court Sunday morning in an attempt to persuade the court to lighten his sentence and allow him to continue to serve in public office.
Israel Radio reported that among Hanegbi's supporters are former President Yitzhak Navon, former Knesset speakers Reuven Rivlin, Dalia Itzik, Avraham Burg, and Dan Tichon, and reserve generals Amos Yaron and Giora Eiland.
Former Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Nobel Prize laureate author Elie Wiesel, and senior jurisprudent Prof. Uriel Procaccia were also among the supporters.
"I believe that in this time of division among the people we must be thankful for anyone who acts moderately to bridge between the different public sectors," wrote Navon.
Burg, Tichon, Rivlin, and Itzik wrote that they were "united in the belief that MK Hanegbi has the ability to continue to contribute to the state's actions and help Israel as it faces its many challenges".
Eiland said he knew Hanegbi from the time in which he served as head of the National Security Council, when Hanegbi was in charge of relations with the US. "He is one of Israel's most talented politicians," he wrote.
Prof. Procaccia said Hanegbi was "fair, moderate, and considerate", and should be allowed to continue to serve the public, while writer Wiesel said he was "restrained, quiet, and open-hearted".
The prosecution in Hanegbi's case is expected to demand moral turpitude, a sentence which would effectively ban the MK from public service for seven years.
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