Supreme Court strikes down Rabbi Pinto's appeal

Court says that health concerns were taken into account during plea bargain and original sentencing.

Haim Lev,

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Meir Sela

Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the appeal submitted by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, the head of the Shuva Israel institute, to lower his sentence from one year in prison to six months of community service. The Court upheld the year-long prison term.

Rabbi Pinto submitted the appeal due to concerns over his ill health. The original penalty was handed out by the District Court of Tel Aviv.

During the trial of the case that came to be known as “The Rabbi and the Commissioner Case”, Rabbi Pinto accepted a plea bargain that included admitting to offering a bribe to Police Commissioner Ephraim Bracha and corrupting the legal process.

Supreme Court Judges Yitzhak Amit, Tzvi Zilbertal, and Manny Moses ruled that in spite of Rabbi Pinto’s cancer diagnosis, he will still serve one year in prison, set to begin on February 16th.   

“The personal circumstances of the convict are not easy, and his remarks made during the closed-door hearing found their way to my heart,” wrote Justice Amit. “However, the circumstances of the convict were already taken into account as part of the plea bargain, and reflect the punishment that was given him. Therefore, I join my compatriots in striking down the appeal.”