The State Prosecutor's Office is asking the Kfar Saba Magistrate's Court to sentence Ilana Saporta to 22 months in prison for sending live ammunition to Naftali Bennett's family when he was prime minister.
Saporta, 65, from Ashkelon, was convicted in January of this year on charges of extortion by threats in a plea bargain. Saporta was initially charged with extortion by threats and possession of ammunition, but as part of the settlement, the charge of possession of ammunition was dropped. Saporta said at the hearing: "I didn't mean to hurt the Bennett family, I apologize to the family."
Saporta was brought to the hearing on Thursday in handcuffs. After the indictment was filed against her, she was released, but was recently arrested again and her detention was extended until the end of the proceedings after she violated the conditions of her release. She was banned from social media, but continued to post political posts there.
The prosecutor in the case, attorney Roy Reis, said today at the hearing: "This is blackmail by threats against a serving prime minister in the State of Israel. The threat here was murder, simply to execute him by shooting, and not only him, but also his wife and minor son. The threat is to murder all three of them if the prime minister does not resign, and this was vividly illustrated by live bullets in the blackmail envelopes."
"Resign, advice to you." Naftali Bennett, Photo: Yossi Zeliger
The prosecutor also sought a suspended prison sentence and compensation to Bennett, his wife and son. He also asked for a fine for security expenses around Bennett and his family following the letters.
Saporta's lawyer, Yaron Forer, said: "The prosecution is asking for an inappropriate and disproportionate punishment. The letters did not reach their destination, they stopped long before. The letters did not reach either Bennett or his family. That's a significant difference. This is an elderly woman with no criminal record, she expressed remorse and apologized for her actions."
Saporta told the judge through tears: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. I ask forgiveness from the Bennett family if they were hurt. I'm going through great difficulties. I understand the gravity of what I did." Sentencing will be handed down on November 1.
"This is the bullet that will hit your crooked age." Gilat and Naftali Bennett, Photo: Gideon Markowitz
According to the indictment, in April last year, Gilat and Yoni Bennett, the wife and son of the prime minister at the time, received threatening letters containing live bullets. Inside one of them was a chase with a 5.56mm live bullet and a sheet of paper that read: "This is the bullet that will hit your soft stomach Naftali Bennett, and will hit Yoni Bennett directly if you don't resign."
In Saporta's second letter, which contained a similar bullet, she wrote: "This is the bullet that will hit your crooked Gilat or you, Naftali Bennett. We can, resign, advice to you."
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