Police question Rabbi Pinto on bribery allegations

Spiritual guide to Israeli elite suspected of bribing police officer to obtain information on case; released with restrictions.

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto (photo credit: Ilan Cirota)
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
(photo credit: Ilan Cirota)
Police questioned Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto and his wife on Thursday over allegations that they bribed a senior police officer, Israel Radio reported on Friday.
Pinto is the founder of the Shuva Israel yeshiva, who splits time between Ashdod and New York. He serves as a spiritual guide to several members of Israel's elite and has given counsel and spiritual advice to real-estate magnate Jacky Ben-Zaken, businessman Yitzhak Tshuva, Tzipi Livni, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, and numerous others. 

He is suspected of paying a bribe to a police officer in efforts to obtain information about another police investigation involving his close associates, according to the report.
Following the questioning, the couple was brought before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court and released with restrictions, Israel Radio reported.
Pinto's attorney, Yaron Lipshes said that his client fully cooperated with police, answering all questions.
"Rabbi Pinto would like to move the investigation forward in order to disprove the suspicions against him, suspicions which are baseless," Israel Radio quoted Lipshes as saying.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.