The State Prosecutor's Office announced on Tuesday in Tel Aviv District Court that Israel will pay the state witness in the Holyland affair NIS 12,000 a month for up to eight years.
This payment, which could reach NIS 1 million, comes on top of a series of economic benefits the state has already promised the witness. These benefits include exemption from tax debts (which according to media reports reached NIS 1 million ), exemption from hefty court expenses, and compensation for legal fees of NIS 8,000 a month between August 2010 and June 2011.
Prosecutors divulged information about the agreement in response to defendants' request that classified portions of the accord signed between Israel and the witness be disclosed. These classified sections detail the financial arrangements worked out between the witness and the state.
Prosectors acknowledged that the witness uses the stipend to pay back his debts. "It turns out that the witness is entangled in a reality in which he pays creditors regular payments to cover debts," the prosecutors explained. "Once it became clear to us that the stipend is used by the witness to pay back debts, we decided to take the unusual step of disclosing to the defense the scope of this monthly stipend."
Prosecutors added that other sections of the classified portions must remain under wraps, in accord with directives under the law for state witnesses. The law defines the Holyland witness as "living under threat.
The law says a witness living under threat is one who faces direct threats to his or her life or well-being, or to the life or well-being of family members. Defense attorneys object to the witness being given this designation, contending that the pressures faced by the state witness due to debts owed to creditors do not match the law's criteria.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now