Four men to be charged with abducting, extorting rabbi

Defendants allegedly held popular spiritual leader in Tiberias for 3 years refusing to let him see family, threatening to destroy his reputation.

Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311 (photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
The Southern District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that an indictment has been served in the Beersheba District Court against four men accused of abducting and extorting Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi.
Shmuel Shukron, Shimon Katorza, Zvi Weizman and Micha Patito are charged with conspiracy, abduction, false imprisonment, extortion and fraud.
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A popular spiritual leader, Ben Artzi had fronted the Talmei Geula charitable organization.
In 2005 the four defendants, who worked in various roles in the charity, decided to take it over by removing Ben Artzi.
For three years, they held the rabbi captive in various apartments in Tiberias, refusing to let him see his wife or family. To ensure Ben Artzi's compliance, they threatened to destroy his reputation by spreading rumors about his sexual relations with women.
An arraignment hearing for the four defendants is scheduled for 11th October at the Beersheba District Court.