Police suspect Elior Chen attempted murder

Police suspect Chen of a

October 29, 2009 12:45
1 minute read.

Elior Chen, who allegedly influenced some of his followers to abuse their children, is also suspected of attempted murder, police said Thursday. Police did not say whether these allegations pertained to any of the children whose abuse Chen allegedly provoked. Chen, who was brought to the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday for a remand hearing, claimed he had been "wronged," but expressed confidence that justice would be done. His father told reporters at the courthouse that Chen was innocent and added that the family wished the abused children a speedy recovery. Chen landed in Israel on Wednesday afternoon following his extradition from Brazil, and was brought to Jerusalem District Police headquarters for questioning. However, his lawyer has said that he will maintain his right to remain silent. The 29-year-old Betar Illit resident fled to Canada and then Brazil over a year ago, after a terrifying alleged affair of child abuse was exposed in a haredi family in Jerusalem. In June, Chen was apprehended by Brazilian police on a street in Sao Paulo, and in July, Brazilian authorities announced that Chen's appeal for refugee status in Brazil had been denied, strengthening a Supreme Court order to extradite him. Chen's alleged crimes came to light after two brothers, aged three and four, were rushed to the hospital in serious condition on March 12, 2008. The younger boy had suffered severe brain damage and is still unconscious in a Jerusalem-area hospital. According to prosecutors, Chen instructed the mother of the family and others to beat the children severely, saying this would improve their behavior. The two children were reportedly beaten with hammers, knives and other instruments. Their mother, who agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for turning state's witness against Chen, said those were just some of the crimes. Chen will likely be charged with abusing minors, soliciting to abuse minors, assaulting minors and conspiracy to commit a crime. Speaking to reporters before his client arrived at the Jerusalem District Police station in the Russian Compound on Wednesday, Chen's attorney, Ariel Atari, said that he was waiting to see the charges that would be filed. "But in any case, these things never happened," Atari said.

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