No Immediate Suspension for Benizri, Rules Knesset Legal Adviser Nurit Elstein

Nurit Elstein, the Knesset's legal adviser, has concluded that it is not possible to suspend MK Shlomo Benizri from the Knesset until the court rules that his actions constitute moral turpitude.

Elstein received a request from Meretz MK Ran Cohen, who asked her to evaluate whether it was possible to suspend Benizri immediately, following his conviction for accepting bribes. According to the amendment to the Basic Law on the Knesset passed last year "an MK who was convicted in a criminal violation and the court ruled that the crime carries moral turpitude, will be suspended from the Knesset on the day of the court's ruling."

Elstein noted that the courts had ruled in the past that "as a rule, fraud violations carry moral turpitude," but said that the decision depends on the circumstances and it will be made only when the sentencing takes place. "Until then, there is no basis for suspending him from the Knesset."