A former senior campaign staffer for opposition head MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) will stand trial over a problematic contribution during a 2013 party leadership primary.
Gilad Ramot, the businessman who made the NIS 40,000 ($11,400) contribution, will also be indicted, the state prosecution announced Saturday night.
Herzog, who lost the Labor leadership to Avi Gabbay in a primary this year, was initially suspected of involvement in the contribution in breach of campaign laws. However, in September 2016, police investigators said they were closing the months-long probe after finding no evidence Herzog knew about the problematic donation.
Ramot, who made the donation, owned a company, RPM, that stood to be affected by standing legislation in the Knesset. The contribution donation, allegedly facilitated by senior Labor party campaign staffer Shimon Batat, helped pay for a negative ad campaign against Herzog’s challenger in the primary race, then-party leader MK Shelly Yachimovich.
It was not reported in the mandatory filing made by the campaign — which was signed off by Herzog — to State Comptroller Yosef Shapira after the primary vote.
In addition, donations from corporations are illegal in primary campaigns.
The state has offered both Batat and Ramot a plea deal under which they would be convicted only of failing to report a legal contribution.