Shas Party Head Aryeh Deri To Resign From Knesset Under Plea Deal
The leader of the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri, has reached a plea deal, approved by Israel’s attorney general, under which he will admit to two minor tax offenses and resign from the Knesset. Deri also will pay a fine of some $57,000, but will avoid jail time. Deri will be able to remain head of the Shas party, and could seek re-election to the Knesset, since the attorney general has agreed to not seek a finding of moral turpitude, which automatically bars someone from serving in the Knesset. Deri previously was convicted of bribery and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2000, with a finding of moral turpitude. He was prevented from participating in politics for another decade but later made a comeback. The police first recommended indicting Deri for tax crimes and on other charges in 2018, after an investigation that took several years. But the succession of new election cycles as well as the coronavirus pandemic delayed the case.