Arab lawmaker to be indicted for allegedly smuggling contraband to terrorist prisoners



Joint Arab List Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas arrives for a court hearing at the Rehovot Magistrate's Court, Jan. 5, 2017. Credit: Avi Dishi/Flash90.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Israeli-Arab Member of the Knesset Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List), who is suspected of smuggling cellular phones, SIM cards and coded messages to security prisoners in Ketziot Prison, will be indicted for alleged fraud, breach of trust, a violation of Israel Prison Service directives, receiving illicit benefits and supporting terrorism.

The move comes after the Knesset Ethics Committee suspended Ghattas from all Knesset committees for six months. The suspension excludes plenum or committee votes, in which Ghattas is allowed to participate. He will also continue to receive his salary during the suspension period.

Suspending a lawmaker's salary requires a unanimous Ethics Committee vote. Joint Arab List MK Yousef Jabareen opposed the measure, preventing the committee from imposing the sanction on Ghattas.

Ghattas criticized the Ethics Committee's decision, saying “this is a vindictive political decision that has never been made against any another MK involved in ongoing criminal proceedings.”

Posted on January 5, 2017 .