Unrepentant Twice-Convicted Felon To Be Israel’s New Interior Minister
Despite his 1999 conviction for accepting $155,000 in bribes and other non-cash payments during a previous stint in country’s cabinet and another felony corruption conviction that followed his release from prison, Aryeh Deri will be Israel’s new minister of the interior, according to Israeli news reports.
TWICE-CONVICTED felon Aryeh Deri (pictured) is about to have a new gig.
Deri, who heads the Sefardi Shas Party, is about to be named Minister of the Interior, 16 years being convicted of bribe-taking and public corruption.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to approve Deri’s appointment Sunday, the Times of Israel reported based on a Channel 2 TV News report today.
Silvan Shalom was Interior Minister until he was forced to resign after a wave of sexual harassment allegations against him were made by female former employees.
Despite his 1999 conviction for accepting $155,000 in bribes and other non-cash payments during a previous stint in country’s cabinet and another felony corruption conviction that followed his release from prison, Deri returned to public life, first taking over the reigns of Shas in 2012 and then as Minister for the Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee in the current Netanyahu government — a post Deri will keep alongside of his new job as Minister of Interior.
Israeli law calls for a 7-year political hiatus for politicians convicted of moral turpitude. Deri’s 2012 return to Shas coincided with the end of that period for him counted from his last appeal.
In May, Israel’s attorney general noted that while there was no strict legal requirement to keep Deri out of the cabinet, Deri is not “someone who has recognized his sins and taken responsibility for his actions.…There is a need to balance the clear public interest in retaining the correct moral standards of public candidates with the interests of [sectoral] representation — the desire to allow the public to be represented by their elected officials, [but the] clean [appearance to the public of a public official outweighs everything else],” Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein wrote.
Netanyahu appointed Deri as the Minister for the Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee later that day.