The Justice Ministry has prepared a bill aimed at preventing Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger from taking over as head of the Higher Rabbinical Court in April, a ministry source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. The bill, an amendment to the Israel Chief Rabbinate Law, was distributed on Wednesday in the form of a memorandum to interested parties for their comments. According to the current law, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic chief rabbis rotate as head of the Higher Rabbinical Court, with each serving a five-year term. At the same time, the other chief rabbi serves as head of the Chief Rabbinate Council. The amendment states that if both rabbis agree or the Dayanim Election Committee so votes, the two chief rabbis may remain in the same post throughout their 10-year term. Metzger, who has been head of the Chief Rabbinate Council since being elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi almost five years ago, is due to replace Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar as head of the Higher Rabbinical Court in April. According to a Justice Ministry source, Friedmann decided that Metzger was unworthy of holding the post of chairman of the Higher Rabbinical Council because of his conduct after being elected chief rabbi. His deeds were the subject of a police investigation following allegations that he and his family had spent the weeklong Pessah holiday in 2004 at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem without paying for their rooms. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz determined that there was not enough evidence to indict him on criminal charges, but recommended that Metzger resign from office and, if not, that the justice minister convene the Dayanim Election Committee to dismiss him from his positions on the Higher Rabbinical Court and the Dayanim Elections Committee. Recently, Friedmann convened the committee to consider Mazuz's recommendation. On February 18, he voted along with the other members of the committee not to dismiss Metzger from the posts. Early in February, Metzger, who had suspended himself from participating in the deliberations of both the Higher Rabbinical Court and the Judges Election Committee since the start of the investigation, announced that he was resuming his participation in both forums.