23:27 , 02.20.05


Fraud Squad
Photo: Government Press Office Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger Photo: Government Press Office
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Chief rabbi questioned for 11 hours

Police question Yona Metzger under warning for allegedly accepting illegal perks

TEL AVIV - National fraud squad investigators questioned Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger for 11  hours Sunday for allegedly receiving illegal perks worth tens of thousands of shekels from the David Citadel hotel in Jerusalem.


Metzger had allegedly stayed at the hotel with his family during the Passover holidays in 2004.


This is the first time an acting chief rabbi has been questioned under warning.


Four months ago Channel 2 reported that Metzger had received illegal perks from the hotel. According to the report, he had allegedly taken two rooms for his family and was only asked to pay for meals.


At the time, the State was funding an apartment for the rabbi in Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood.


Attorney general authorizes questioning


Metzger said his contract specified that the proprietor of the apartment would return to the apartment during the holidays and that is why he was forced to stay at the hotel with his family.


In December, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz instructed the police to launch a preliminary investigation into the allegations. Mazuz asked investigators to relay the investigation's findings to him before calling the rabbi in for investigation


Last week, Mazuz gave police to go-ahead to bring Metzger in for questioning.