Elior Chen is set to be extradited to Israel from Brazil on October 27, a Brazilian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday, confirming similar statements by Israeli Justice Ministry officials on Thursday. The announcement signaled an end to the long legal battle over the fate of the suspected ringleader in one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history.
The Justice Ministry in Brasilia has already signed the extradition order, having refused to grant Chen refugee status in the country.
Chen, a self-styled rabbi, allegedly influenced members of his flock to abuse their children in order to "correct their corrupt souls."
His alleged crimes became known after two brothers, one three years old and the other four-and-a-half, were rushed to hospital on March 12, 2008 after suffering from abuse. The younger child suffered severe brain damage and has not recovered. The older one, who was admitted with burns, was released three weeks later.
Their mother was indicted for the crime. It emerged that she belonged to a cult led by Chen, who, after the affair became public, fled first to Canada and later to Brazil.
After a search of several weeks, Israeli authorities discovered that Chen was hiding in Sao Paolo. On April 23, 2008, Israel asked the Brazilian authorities to arrest and hold him in custody so it could file a formal request for his extradition.
It took more than one month to locate him and he was arrested on June 3, 2008. He decided to resist his extradition.
Chen will now be brought to trial in Israel.
Etgar Lefkovits contributed to this report