Two Berland sect members indicted for 1986 murder case

Baruch Sharvit, 76, and the son of a former Israeli minister, whose name is still under a gag order, were indicted for a 1986 murder.

 Rabbi Eliezer Berland covered with a prayer shawl arrives for a court hearing arrives for a police investigation at a police station in Jerusalem, November 2, 2021 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Rabbi Eliezer Berland covered with a prayer shawl arrives for a court hearing arrives for a police investigation at a police station in Jerusalem, November 2, 2021
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Two Berland sect members were indicted for involvement in a kidnapping and murder case dating back more than 30 years, Israeli media reported on Friday morning.

Baruch Sharvit, 76, and the son of a former Israeli minister, whose name is still under a gag order, were indicted for the murder of Nissim Shitrit in January 1986.

Disgraced Haredi leader Eliezer Berland, currently serving jail time for extortion, attempted intimidation, tax offenses and money laundering, was detained last month as he was suspected to be linked to the murder.

On Thursday, Berland was released from detention.

Rabbi Eliezer Berland (left), a convicted sex offender. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Rabbi Eliezer Berland (left), a convicted sex offender. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, three members of the Shuvu Banim sect of Breslov Hassidim were arrested in connection with two Jerusalem murder cases, one in 1986 and one in 1990.

Berland's son-in-law, Tzvika Tzuker, organized mishmarot tzniut, or “modesty squads,” groups of a few men who carried out acts to coerce conformity to Shuvu Banim’s dress codes and standards of sexual and social behavior, the indictment reads, according to Army Radio.

The indictment adds that Tzuker ordered the mishmarot tzniut to threaten Shitrit and stop him from dating women. 

The sect then allegedly kidnapped Shitrit from his Yeshiva in Ashdod, took him to a nearby forest and violently beat him to death.