Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto appeared in the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday morning 25 Nissan as instructed.
The rabbi returned to Israel on Monday and suffered a cardiac incident during the flight. He was reportedly returning from medical treatment for his illness which he received in NYC. As a result of the cardiac incident the rabbi was transported to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah where he underwent a cardiac catheterization.
As expected, Rabbi Pinto admitted to his guilt in the extortion case against him as part of the plea bargain agreement with the prosecution. The rabbi as part of the agreement is going to testify as a state witness against senior police command Menashe Arbiv.
The rabbi arrived for the court session directly from the hospital, 20 minutes late. He admitted to his actions, offering a $200,000 bribe to Arbiv in exchange for information pertaining to the Israel Police and FBI investigations against him. In light of his confession, the court convicted Rabbi Pinto of charges including attempted bribery and obstruction of justice. Justice Oded Mudrick announced sentencing will take place on 9 Iyar at 12:30. The rabbi is prevented from leaving the country in the interim. The rabbi was instructed to hand over his passport to the court within 24 hours.
In exchange for signing the agreement and becoming a state witness against Arbiv, most of the charges that were going to be filed against the rabbi were dropped by the prosecution.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)