Prosecution Expected to Reach Plea Bargain Agreement With Pinto

Attorney General must approve the deal, which will go easy on rabbi but allow investigation of former senior police general Arviv.

Yasmin Gueta
Jasmin Gueta
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Yasmin Gueta
Jasmin Gueta

The State Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyers representing Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto have put together a plea bargain agreement in the last few days. The deal, which still needs approval of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, includes the filing of a much more lenient indictment against Pinto than originally planned. Weinstein will hold a meeting on the matter on Monday.

The framework of the plea deal, which was reported by Channel 2 news, will enable the Justice Ministry’s unit for investigating police officers to open a full investigation and question under caution police Maj. Gen, Menashe Arviv, the former commander of the Lahav 443 investigations unit, on suspicions he received bribes from Pinto. Arviv recently resigned his position at the head of what is called “Israel’s FBI.” This department includes the fraud squad, the serious and international crimes unit and the financial investigations unit.

In addition, if Pinto is convicted, the prosecution has agreed not to ask for more than a nine-month prison sentence for Pinto, while his lawyers will ask for only probation.

At the end of the Arviv investigation, it will be decided whether to put him on trial. If a criminal indictment is filed against Arviv, Weinstein will then decide – based on his own judgment – whether to grant Pinto any further leniency.

Pinto’s lawyers demanded all the sections accompanying the main bribery charges be removed from the indictment. This would mean dismissing charges of extortion, threatening a police officer, suborning witnesses, obstructing justice, and an additional attempt at bribery.

The heart of the indictment is a charge that Pinto tries to bribe police Brig. Gen. Ephraim Bracha. The Pinto and his wife were arrested in October 2012 for offering Bracha $200,000 in exchange for information about a fraud investigation into a nonprofit organization called Hazon Yeshaya, which Pinto headed.

Weinstein announced three weeks ago he had decided to indict Pinto.

The State Prosecutor’s Office said: “We do not comment on negotiations between lawyers and the prosecution, if they exist and if not.”

Rabbi Yoshiyahu PintoCredit: Moti Milrod

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