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Monday, November 18, 2013 

Former chief rabbi Yona Metzger arrested on bribery charges

The Haredi rabbi has run headlong into trouble again over bribery accusations:
Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger was arrested again Monday morning on suspicion of receiving bribes and illicit payments, and taken to Rishon Le’Tzion Magistrate’s Court where a judge extended his remand in police custody for nine days.

Speaking at the hearing, Judge Menachem Mizrahi said that “There is reasonable suspicion that the offenses attributed to the suspect were indeed committed [by him],” and added that releasing the rabbi could interfere with the police investigation.

The police representative at the hearing for the extended remand, Asaf Valfish of the Lahav 433 National Fraud Unit and chief investigator on the case, stated that the investigation was creating a “depressing picture” according to which Metzger allegedly received bribes and forbidden payments at an “unprecedented scope.”

Valfish said that the amounts allegedly paid to Metzger added up to millions of shekels in cash received by the rabbi over the last ten years while he was serving as chief rabbi, and also charged the rabbi with breach of public trust.

In the formal police request for extending Metzger’s detention, Valfish wrote that Metzger had been paid hundreds of thousands of shekels to act as an agent in order to direct different parties, in Israel and abroad, to make charitable payments to different organizations and philanthropic groups.

Additionally, the rabbi is accused of taking millions of shekels for “utilizing his authority as chief rabbi, in a variety of different incidents.”
I just can't bring myself to feel all that sorry for him now. He's brought shame upon this nation, proving himself an otherwise unreliable public servant in the state's employ. This article says he also intimidated witnesses. Truly shameful.

Update: Israel HaYom has more about Metzger's pocketing millions in charity funds.

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