Israeli legislator to quit Knesset after "moral turpitude" ruling
A prominent veteran Israeli politician was forced Tuesday to resign from parliament, after a court found that his conviction for perjury earlier this year was a crime of "moral turpitude", DPA reported.
Tzachi Hanegbi, a front-bench legislator for the opposition centrist Kadima Party, and the chairman of parliament's prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, was quoted in the Jerusalem Post daily as saying that while the court's decision was "a heavy blow," he respected it.
Under Israeli law, a politician convicted of moral turpitude has to quit parliament. However, Hanegbi can run again for the Knesset in the next election.
The parliamentarian, who has held 6 ministerial position in a 22- year political career, was also fined 10,000 shekels (2,700 dollars) though the court rejected the prosecution's request to hand down a prison sentence.
Had the court sentenced him to jail, or given him a suspended sentence, he would have been barred for seven years from holding a cabinet portfolio.
Hanegbi was convicted in July of perjury, while standing trial for breach of trust, election bribery and trying to influence a voter, for which he was acquitted.