Likud MK Haim Katz is charged with corruption in a downgraded charge that will see him avoid jail time, after he reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
Katz has been accused of advancing a bill on corporate bond repayment pushed by a financial consultant who was a close friend and financial adviser to Katz himself, and which benefited the adviser financially once it became law. Katz was also accused of concealing those conflicts of interest.
According to the plea bargain, Katz will confess to the lesser charge of conspiring to achieve a legitimate target via illegitimate means. Katz and prosecutors will then jointly ask the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court to sentence Katz to a suspended sentence and a fine.
In a statement, Katz says Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has acknowledged that the advancement of the measure was kosher and didn’t yield any benefit for himself.
“The charges against me relate to the information I should have brought before the Knesset committee members. I take full responsibility for that,” he says. “Over the past five years I have paid a high personal and public price, because the [legal] process is the punishment, and I decided to reach a deal and put the saga behind me.”