'I Won't Resign,' Benizri Insists

MK Shlomo Benizri (Shas) said he is not planning to resign from the Knesset.

Benizri told reporters yesterday that he maintains his innocence and believes he will win a planned appeal of the ruling.

"As soon as I resign, I'll be slamming the door on political life," said Benizri.

"I was sent by a great many [voters]. I believe in my innocence and I believe that at the end of the process I will be acquitted. Let's wait for the judge's sentence, which I hope will not contain any offense involving moral turpitude."

If the Jerusalem District Court judge decides Benizri's offenses involve moral turpitude, he will be forced to quit the Knesset.

At a press conference at the Knesset, Benizri read a written statement saying he wanted to suspend himself but was told by the Knesset's legal adviser that he could not do so because a member of the Knesset can suspend himself only if he has been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude.

Benizri said he would speak to Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about the matter later in the week and complained he had been persecuted for eight years through no fault of his own.