Tel Aviv – Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto landed in Israel on Monday morning and was immediately taken to the hospital complaining of chest pain.
Pinto was forced to fly back to Israel by the court in order to plead guilty to bribery charges as part of a plea bargain in an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
During his flight to Israel, a short while before landing at Ben Gurion Airport, Rabbi Pinto began experiencing chest pains and was immediately transferred to the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Rabbi Pinto underwent diagnostic catheterization of his heart this morning and was given a clean bill of health.
He is being held for observation and will probably be discharged on Tuesday.
The Justice Ministry said that they are withholding judgement until they get more details on Pinto’s condition. The Ministry added that it will eventually be the court’s decision if the hearing will still be held on Tuesday as planned.
Though Pinto’s medical expert said Pinto was still too unhealthy to travel back to Israel to be arraigned following months of delay of his arraignment, the court sided with the state’s expert report that said there was no medical reason why he could not make the trip even if he was ill.
Some groups have accused Pinto of intentionally delaying the hearing to try to back out of the deal.
Other events have also delayed his plea bargain and conviction being sealed by the court, including an October 2014 freezing of the agreement that was only lifted in February 2015 when the High Court of Justice decided to let the agreement go forward despite criticizing it.
The deal includes Pinto going on to be the state’s star witness against Asst.- Ch. (ret.) Menashe Arbiv, the former head of the police’s Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit, while Pinto will get a light jail sentence and obtain leniencies for cases that could have been filed against entities he runs and some of his family members.