The prosecution submitted today, Friday, to the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court an amended indictment and announcement of the plea bargain against MK Basel Ghattas.
The indictment attributes to Ghattas the smuggling of cell phones into jail, aiding terror activity, smuggling documents while bypassing prison authorities, and breach of trust by a public official.
Ghattas signed last night the plea bargain within whose framework the prosecution is to request that the court impose two years of imprisonment on Ghattas, along with conditional imprisonment which will be established by the court.
It was also agreed within the framework of the plea bargain that MK Ghattas will submit on Sunday his resignation from the Knesset. “My actions stemmed from personal reasons of conscience and humanity towards prisoners. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” Ghattas said last night.
At the press conference which he held in Nazareth, Ghattas asserted that “from the first moments after I left prison on the 18th of December until recent days, I was subject to a forceful and racist incitement campaign which included the spreading of lies among the Police with the goal of creating an impression that I had committed severe security offenses.”
“The press aided in lynching me in a field court, after which the government system crossed a number of red lines, only because I am an Arab MK,” he added. “For the first time, parliamentary immunity was removed from an MK. Immediately afterward, I was arrested for five days without an investigation in that period.”
Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Thursday evening criticized the plea bargain, writing on Twitter: "I find it difficult to understand why the prosecution is satisfied with only two years in prison for Ghattas over acts of assisting to terrorism, when the evidence is so solid. I hope the court will impose a much worse sentence," Erdan wrote on Twitter.
Erdan pointed out that Ghattas took advantage of his immunity as an MK, "tried to help a terrorist and put many lives at risk. Two years? For economic offenses, in Israel in many cases three years in prison are imposed and even more."