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Israel: parliament grants immunity to former minister facing corruption charges

Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Haim Katz
MK and former Israeli Social Affairs and Social Services Minister, Haim Katz [El faro de Israel/Facebook]

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, granted immunity on Monday to former Labour, Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Haim Katz who is facing a trial over corruption charges, Quds Press has reported.

Katz is a member of the Likud, the party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has himself been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.

MKs voted by 62 to 43 in favour of Katz’s immunity request, claiming that he carried out the misconduct in “good faith” as part of his work as a member of the Knesset.

This immunity prevents Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit from filing an indictment against him over charges of fraud and breach of trust.

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Katz resigned as a minister after he was accused of promoting legislation that would have benefited him personally while concealing apparent conflicts of interest.

The law in question allegedly benefited Katz’s friend, businessman Mordechai Ben Ari, media reports said.

They added that it benefited him personally as he owns payment bonds for companies suffering from financial crises.

Katz’s immunity is only valid during the period of the current Knesset.

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