‘Deri Bill’ likely to be approved by ministerial panel

Bill would block former MKs who served a year or more in prison for crimes involving moral turpitude from Knesset.

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May 11, 2012 02:22
1 minute read.
The Sephardi Nelson Mandela?

Arye Deri_521. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Former Shas chairman Arye Deri will not be able to run for the next Knesset, according to a bill proposed by MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) that is expected to be authorized by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.

The so-called “Deri Bill” would forbid any former MK who served a year or more in prison for crimes involving moral turpitude from returning to the Knesset.

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“Truthfully, I would prefer it if this law was unnecessary,” Hotovely explained.

“There is no reason for the public to put its trust in a person that tricked them in the past.”

The Likud MK said former elected officials that were caught doing crimes “should not have the audacity to seek power once again.”

Hotovely insisted that the bill is not personal, and that anyone who thinks the public’s trust in government is important must stop corrupt people from entering it.

“What is the Knesset broadcasting, when some of its members were convicted of corruption?” she asked.

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Deri was convicted in 2000 of taking $155,000 in bribes while serving as interior minister. He was sentenced to three years in prison but was released after 22 months.

Likud, Independence and Habayit Hayehudi ministers are expected to back the bill.

One possible bump the bill may face before becoming law is the claim of retroactivity. However, Hotovely’s spokesman said the legislation does not specify when the elected official was convicted, and if the law passes, someone like Deri can go to court, where a judge can decide whether it applies to him.

If the bill is approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, it will then undergo a preliminary Knesset reading, followed by three more before becoming law.

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