Self-proclaimed "Rabbi" Elior Chen, who fled Israel to Brazil last year after being accused of instructing one of his followers to beat her child to the point of permanent brain damage, will be extradited to Israel, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
According to Justice Ministry sources, the extradition order must be signed by the Brazilian justice minister, and Chen should be scheduled to land in Israel in up to six weeks' time, after Israel Police officials and prosecution representatives leave to Brazil to coordinate his extradition with local authorities.
Chen allegedly ordered a mother from Beitar Ilit to inflict severe emotional, mental and physical harm on two of her children, aged three and four-years-old, under the guise of "legitimate educational values" in the start of 2008. The three-year-old suffered permanent brain damage.
The indictment filed in the case listed a number of horrendous acts prescribed by the rabbi as "corrective" education.
The "corrections" included shaking, beating, binding, burning and force-feeding the children their excrements, all carried out with the goal of "extracting the demons ands parasites that live in the children".
As soon as the investigation against him was launched, Chen fled the country and an international arrest warrant was issued against him. Some two months after his escape, Chen was found wandering the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was arrested.
The "rabbi" was transferred to the city's federal police headquarters and refused to return to Israel.
His lawyers argued that despite the extradition treaty between the two countries, the Israeli authorities' request must not be granted, since Beitar Ilit is located in the West Bank – "Occupied territory that is not subject to the Israeli justice system."
The Israeli Justice Ministry responded to the Brazilian authorities saying Beitar Ilit was indeed subject to Israeli law and that the defense's claims should be rejected.
The Brazilian supreme court ruling to have Chen extradited was made unanimously on Thursday, after an extradition request was filed by the State Prosecutor's Office department for international affairs.