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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The chief aide to a late Israeli mystic was arrested for allegedly stealing two Torah Scrolls from a synagogue, police said Monday.
Moshe Nimni, 41, who served under the late Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri and is also the deputy head of the country's powerful trade union, was apprehended on Sunday in connection with a break-in and robbery at a Lod synagogue.
The two Bible scrolls and other stolen Judaica were found in Nimni's Jerusalem office, the police said.
A synagogue official confirmed that the scrolls found in his office were those stolen last month.
Nimni, who currently serves as the deputy head of the Histadrut in Jerusalem and is in charge of welfare services on behalf of the Shas Party, denies the allegations against him.
He provided the police with the names of other suspects in the case, police said.
In a rebuff to police, Nimni was released on NIS 1,000 bail Monday by a Jerusalem court during a remand hearing.
"I did not find a basis for a direct connection between the suspect and the synagogue break-in," Judge Rafi Strauss said, rejecting the police request to hold the suspect in custody pending the completion of their investigation.
Police said they were also checking whether Nimni was involved in other synagogue robberies in the Jerusalem area.
The revered Rabbi Kadouri died in January at the age of at least 106.