Haim Katz's plea deal approved by Rishon LeZion Magistrate's Court

The conviction was not deemed as having moral turpitude, as the High Court of Justice in December rejected a petition to impose it.

 Likud MK Haim Katz speaks at a Knesset plenary session on his request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution, at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 17, 2020. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL)
Likud MK Haim Katz speaks at a Knesset plenary session on his request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution, at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 17, 2020.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL)

The plea deal reached with MK Haim Katz was approved by the Rishon LeZion Magistrate's Court on Monday, with Katz to be sentenced to six months probation and a fine of NIS 75,000.

Katz was convicted on December 27 after agreeing to the deal. The conviction was not deemed as having moral turpitude, as the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel to impose it. Moral turpitude would have ended Katz's political career. 

The indictment against Katz was filed on November 9 by former Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

The actual final charge in the deal was a conspiracy to achieve a goal which in and of itself was legal, but by illegal means, relating to Katz’s abuse of his power as former Knesset Social Welfare Committee chairman.

The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel slammed the conviction at the time, as the initial accusations against Katz were far more serious and amounted to tax fraud worth NIS 2.2 million.

 Outgoing Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit at his retirement ceremony, February 1, 2022.  (credit: DAVID WEIL/GPO) Outgoing Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit at his retirement ceremony, February 1, 2022. (credit: DAVID WEIL/GPO)

In February 2020, under a prior government, the Knesset voted to grant Katz immunity from a prior indictment that Mandelblit had decided to file, in which Katz was accused of failing to report his rental income entirely to the tax authorities on significant rental income from seven real estate properties.