The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss a bill on Sunday that suggests withholding the salary of Knesset members who are being suspected in state-related security offenses.
The bill was submitted by MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), following the Knesset Ethics Committee rejection of a demand he and his faction colleague Yaakov Peri made to withhold the salary of Joint List MK Basel Ghattas, who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to security prisoners in Saharonim Prison.
The proposed legislation is an amendment bill to the Knesset law that regulates the salary of sitting lawmakers. This bill says that if the attorney-general indicts a member of Knesset with an offense under the 2016 Terrorism Law or the Criminal Code Law that involves security offenses, their salary will be withheld until the Knesset speaker receives a court ruling or a letter from the attorney-general stating that all charges have been dropped.
Ghattas is currently waiting for a hearing, after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced in January that there is enough evidence against him and accepted the advice of State Attorney Shai Nitzan to indict him. In December, the Knesset House Committee decided to strip Ghattas of his parliamentary immunity.
“This situation cannot go on,” said Levy.
“It is impossible for a Knesset member who betrayed the State of Israel and was indicted with state-security felonies to keep receiving a salary from the state.
“I submitted this bill in order to end this absurdity, in which the citizens of the country are paying someone who tried to harm them and put their life at risk – and on purpose,” he added.
Levy said he hopes the cabinet will transcend coalition considerations and support the bill.