Knesset passes 'Bishara bill' following stormy session

Despite Meretz, Arab party opposition, law that allows c'tee to revoke salary of MKs who fail to report for questioning sails through final readings.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
February 14, 2011 21:26
1 minute read.
Knesset passes 'Bishara bill' following stormy session

bishara 248 ap. (photo credit: )

Despite impassioned opposition by Meretz and the Arab parties, a law that allows the committee to revoke the salary of any MK who fails to report for questioning when summoned by the police sailed easily through its final readings on the Knesset floor Monday evening.

The bill, sponsored by Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), Yariv Levin (Likud) and co-sponsored by a number of MKs empowers the House committee to vote to deny the salary, pension payment, and any additional payments paid to a current or former MK.

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After over an hour of debate, the Knesset passed the bill into law by a vote of 36-11as the last item on Monday’s busy Knesset agenda.

According to the law, which was drafted in the shadow of the case involving former MK Azmi Bishara (Balad), ten MKs would have to request – and the Attorney-General would have to notify the government – that the MK in question is suspected of committing an offense that could result in ten or more years’ imprisonment, that the offense was carried out while serving in the Knesset, and that the MK had failed to report to legal proceedings including investigation, trial or sentencing.

The House Committee would then be required to allow the MK to air his own claims before any decision is made on his case.

The invitation to the hearing, the bill determines, would be published on the Knesset’s Website as well as delivered in a message to the MK.

The committee would also be empowered to reverse its decision if the attorney-general announces that the conditions regarding the MK have changed, in which case the MK can request that the committee reverse its decision.


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