Assad Daka, the brother of terrorist Walid Daka, was sentenced on Thursday to six months of community service for providing former MK Basel Ghattas with cellphones to smuggle to Palestinian security prisoners jailed in Israel.
The Be'er Sheva District Court also ordered Daka, 51, to pay a NIS 30,000 fine. He was convicted as part of a plea deal, in which his charges were reduced and his past record of security-related offenses was wiped out.
"Assad sought to pass on a phone to his brother for purely humane reasons," explained Daka's lawyer, Ala Talwai. "What started as a security-related case ended as a humanitarian case with appropriate punishment. Therefore all of the noise and the blatant incitement the case started with were inappropriate. Both the court and the prosecution agreed with us after seeing the investigation's materials."
According to the indictment, Assad conspired with his brother and with Ghattas using a cellphone brought into the prison without authorization.
Later, Assad met with Ghattas at a Dor Alon gas station along the northbound side of Highway 6 in the early morning hours of December 18, where he handed him four packages containing 12 cellphones, 16 SIM cards, two charges and an earpiece.
Later that day, at around 11:55am, Ghattas arrived at Ktzi'ot Prison with the packages and other documents hidden under his shirt. The prison's guards did not search him because of his position as a member of Knesset.
According to the indictment, Ghattas met at 12:12pm with the terrorist Walid Daka, who is serving a 31-year sentence for the murder of an IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984. When the two were alone in the room, the MK handed the prisoner documents, which Walid then folded and put in his pants.
When Daka left the room, the prison's guards searched him and found the documents.
Later, at around 1:35pm, Ghattas met with Basel Bizra, a prisoner sentenced to 15 years for terror-related offenses. Bizra, a member of Fatah, used to serve as the speaker of the Fatah prisoners. Ghattas handed Bizra the packages with the phones, and the latter hid the envelopes in his pants.
When Bizra left the room, the prison's guards searched him and found the phones.
Assad Daka's lawyer said when his client was indicted that "He didn't know he was delivering phones. He didn't know what he received in the packages."
The lawyer further stated there is no evidence that his client knew the content of the packages will be used in a manner endangering state security.
Ghattas sent to prisonFormer MK Basel Ghattas signed a plea bargain and sentenced to two years in prison, which he began serving in July 2017. He was also given 18 months of probation. Finally, the court also levied a NIS 120,000 fine against the disgraced former politician.
In pronouncing sentencing, Judge Itay Bresler-Gonen said, "Taking into consideration the type of equipment, the identity of the recipients and the circumstances of their imprisonment, it can be said that these are aggravated circumstances. He took advantage of his position as a Knesset member and the trust the position comes with. That trust is directed at the general public and not only at his voters. There is also potential damage to the public's trust in other Knesset members."
Concluding his remarks, Judge Bresler-Gonen commented, "I don't think we give enough weight to the offense of breach of trust, where someone exploits their immunity. This is a crime which really bothers me."