Shimon Gapso
Shimon Gapso Flash90

The mayor of Nazareth Illit, Shimon Gapso, was sentenced by the Supreme Court on Thursday to six months in prison. 

Gapso was earlier convicted in a Haifa court of bribery but appealed the conviction to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court rejected Gapso's appeal, ruling unanimously that he will serve half a year in prison.

After the ruling, Gapso remained defiant and insisted he would return to public service after completing his jail term.

"I plan to return to politics, the residents [of Nazareth Illit] need me," he said.

Gapso ridiculed the court, comparing the decision to the Supreme Court's recent overruling of the controversial gas deal outline.

“This didn’t hit me with a bang, I saw what happened with the [government’s] gas deal outline, a decision by the court that I found really interesting. Sometimes the court can just change the way the world works, because in my view, the gas deal outline changed the way the things will function in Israel in terms of the economy, security, and society. Here there is something similar, and don’t interpret that as some kind of criticism, but there is some sort of excessive intervention here.”

Despite the nature of the conviction, Gaspo insisted he would go to prison with his "head held high".

“There’s nothing to say; this is the court’s ruling and it’s the price a public figure has to pay sometimes, and that’s fine. I’m a law-abiding citizen, and if this is part of the price I have to pay for the state that I love so much, then I’ll pay it.”

“Today I’m paying a price, and bear in mind that the district court said that this was not a case of bribery with money, that’s an important [distinction]; I’m going to serve out my sentence behind bars with my head held high.”

During his 2008 campaign for mayor, Gapso promised activists and staff members jobs with the municipality should he win the election. In at least two cases Gapso followed up on the promise, working to secure positions for campaign staff with the city.

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