Photo Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, March 23, 2021.

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri on Sunday morning submitted his resignation from the Knesset, as part of a plea deal. Charged with tax offenses, is expected to plead guilty to the charges and pay a fine, but will likely avoid a kalon-disgrace being attached to his sentence which would keep him out of political life for seven years. Deri is 63, so a kalon charge would keep him away from politics until age 70. His resignation will take effect on Tuesday morning, but he is expected to remain chairman of Shas. Still, by becoming a regular citizen, Deri hopes to convince his judges there is no need to ban him from politics since he no longer is in politics.

Deri is no stranger to political disgrace. He was convicted of taking $155,000 in bribes while serving as Interior Minister and was given a three-year jail sentence in 2000. Deri was released from prison in 2002 on good behavior, after serving 22 months.

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Deri will be replaced by Yosef Taieb, who is tenth on the party’s election list. Taieb served two short stints in the 22nd and 23rd Knessets, which were dispersed over the parties’ inability to forge or maintain a coalition government.

Deri is suspected of committing tax offenses in respect of the sale of a property in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, and two cases of failure to report income after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit rejected a 2018 police recommendation to prosecute Deri for fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and perjury.

Aryeh Deri’s letter of resignation from the Knesset, Jan. 23, 2022. / Screenshot
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David writes news at JewishPress.com.