Sefardi haredi kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto was sentenced several months ago to one year in prison for bribery, money laundering and other crimes – a slap on the wrist considering who he tried to bribe and his history of lying and cheating. But this is Israel, a country where justice is relative, and now this convicted felon will be allowed to travel to the US before he serves even a day in prison.
Above: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto
High Court Allows Bribe-Giving Money-Laundering Rabbi-Felon To Go To The US For Medical Advice
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Sefardi haredi kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto was sentenced several months ago to one year in prison for bribery, money laundering and other crimes – a slap on the wrist considering who he tried to bribe and his history of lying and cheating.
But this is Israel, a country where justice is relative.
Pinto is very rich – he got that wealth through selling blessings and advice but not paying taxes on that income, and allegedly by allowing his cronies to steal millions of dollars in food donations earmarked for elderly Holocaust survivors, sell the food on the black market and pocket the cash, a chunk of which allegedly was given to Pinto.
Throughout his long entanglement with Israel’s legal system, Pinto has claimed various illnesses and various levels of severity of illness, but those claims have almost always turned out to be false or highly exaggerated.
But again, this is Israel, its justice is relative, and trying to bribe two of the country’s top cops – and smearing one of them so often and so vengefully the cop allegedly killed himself – isn’t enough to have Pinto treated by this court system as anything less than a privileged rock star.
Pinto should be in prison. But he isn’t.
Instead, Pinto filed an appeal with the court over his one-year slap-on-the wrist prison sentence (a sentence that was clearly spelled out in his sweetheart plea deal he signed) and the court allowed him to remain free until the appeal is heard. There is no question about Pinto’s guilt – he admitted his crimes and pleaded guilty to them. The appeal is only over the one-year prison sentence.
While he’s waiting for that appeal to be heard, Pinto wants to come to the US for medical evaluation and possible treatment, and yesterday Israel’s High Court allowed him to do so, Walla! News reported.
Pinto argued that the fact that he returned to Israel to be sentenced after being allowed previously to go to the US justified trusting him now. The judge who heard Pinto’s petition didn’t seem to care that Pinto tried not to return to Israel at that time and only did so after he no choice other than to become an international fugitive. Instead, she gave him permission to travel to US for six weeks and ordered him to give the court a million shekel deposit to guarantee his return. Pinto is worth at least 125 times more than that deposit, and a lot of those assets are in the US elsewhere in the Diaspora. In other words, the deposit isn’t much insurance.
Outside the courtroom, Pinto’s supporters pushed, shoved and hit cameramen and other journalists. Police, who were almost nowhere to be seen, did nothing to stop them and made no arrests.