Former Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger released to house arrest

November 26, 2013 16:07

In June, police from the National Fraud Squad raided Metzger's home and offices and questioned him for several hours.

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Yonah Metzger

Yonah Metzger 521. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former chief rabbi Yona Metzger was released to house arrest on Tuesday, a little over a week after he was arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes and illicit payments.

Judge Menahem Mizrahi from the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court ruled that Metzger would remain under house arrest for 15 days and be banned from leaving the country for 180 days. In addition, he will not be allowed to speak to the press about his case or be in contact with anyone involved in the case, and he must post bond in the sum of NIS 500,000.

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At a hearing last week, the chief police investigator for the case said the investigation was creating a “depressing picture” in which Metzger allegedly received bribes and forbidden payments of an “unprecedented scope,” adding up to millions of shekels in cash over the past 10 years.

The allegations state that Metzger took payments of hundreds of thousands of shekels to act as an agent directing people to donate to certain charities in Israel and abroad, and that he took millions of shekels for “utilizing his authority as chief rabbi, in a variety of different incidents.”

Metzger purportedly stashed the money in a number of places, including his house, where police reportedly found large amounts of cash stuffed between the pages of liturgical texts.

Back in June, police from the National Fraud Squad raided Metzger’s home and offices and questioned him for several hours.

The former chief rabbi and three other men are suspected of involvement in the alleged financial crimes, and there is a state’s witness – a former close associate of Metzger’s – working with police against Metzger.

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