Israeli ex-mayor sentenced to four years in prison for bribery

Tel Aviv District Court sentenced former mayor of Ashkelon to four years in prison and fined him $ 120,000 on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of public trust. The Times of Israel reports.

Itamar Shimoni has been accused of bribery, fraud, sexual misconduct and breach of public trust since 2017.

In November 2019, Shimoni was convicted of accepting bribes totaling $ 124,000.

In addition, the defendant is guilty of breach of trust, receiving $ 153,000 from unknown sources while serving as mayor of the coastal city of Ashkelon from 2013 to 2017.

Shimoni was also charged with tax fraud.

However, the former official was acquitted of charges of sexual misconduct and media bribery.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the prosecution had requested a seven-year sentence for Shimoni, but it was still satisfied with putting him behind bars for an extended period.

– The court accepted our position and determined unequivocally that public corruption crimes are an evil sickness that must be uprooted from their foundation, – the prosecution said.

The investigation and trial of Itamar Shimoni’s case have been going on since 2016. Following a formal indictment in 2017, the mayor was removed from office pending trial. However, the official continued to participate in the political life of the city, gaining almost 40% of the votes in the new mayoral elections.