'Abusive rabbi' lawyer claims anti-Semitism against client
Elior Chen's attorney accuses Israel Police of 'anti-Semitic campaign' in order to get defendant arrested in Brazil. Judge order State to respond within 10 days to claims that Chen must be released because indictment does not match extradition request
The "abusive rabbi" Elior Chen will remain behind bars for at least another few days, according a decision made Thursday by Jerusalem District Court Justice Moshe Sobel.
Sobel ruled that the State Prosecutor's Office has 10 days to respond to claims made by Chen's lawyer, Attorney Ariel Atari that the indictment issued against his client does not match the extradition request Israel submitted to Brazil, and, therefore, he should be immediately released from police custody.
Attorney Atari claimed during the hearing that Chen must not be detained on the basis of the indictment issued against him because the indictment contradicts the conditions the State of Israel committed to in the extradition request. He listed the articles in the indictment that were not included in the extradition request, and claimed that according to international law, his client cannot be detained.
Elior Chen in court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Atari accused Israel Police of launching an "anti-Semitic media campaign" in Brazil to bring about Chen's identification and extradition. According to Atari, these acts incurred "serious damage" on the Jewish community hosting the defendant.
"At this stage," claimed the defense lawyer, "the defendant contacted a lawyer with a request that this campaign be ceased, and appeared in federal court together with the said lawyer. As a result, the anti-Semitic media campaign was ceased immediately."
At the end of his statements, Attorney Atari warned that the State would try in its response to evade the legal claim, and instead will attempt to terrorize the court while emphasizing the severity of the offenses attributed to Chen. "This is part of the campaign Chen has had to deal with for a long time in which the attempts to address the deeds ascribed to him are used to blur the legal picture in the minds of the broader public and in the mind of the court, which is being asked to discuss Chen's claims regarding the violation of the rights afforded him by the law."
The prosecution team, Attorneys Oshrat Shoham and Daniel Mor, claimed that it seems absurd that the court discuss preliminary pleas at the detention stage and not during the main trial. They requested 10 days to study Atari's assertions in order to respond.
Abuse: Beatings, force-feeding excrement
The court case against the "abusive rabbi", who was extradited from Brazil in October, started December 1. He was indicted for severely abusing eight siblings from Beit Illit after their mother sought his advice in raising them. Charges made against him in the indictment include abusing a helpless minor and assaulting a minor.
Despite the severity of his alleged actions, and despite the fact that one of the children remains in a vegetative state, the State Prosecution decided not to charge Chen with attempted murder.
The worst incident took place in March 2008, after Chen said that the 3-year-old boy must be silenced, one of his followers went to the room where the boy was sleeping and shook him and hit his head until he lost consciousness. As a result, the boy suffered irreversible brain damage and is in a vegetative state.
In another incident, Chen and his accomplices forced a 13-year-old boy to feed his four-year-old brother excrement. When the teen refused, he was beat and told that if he did not obey, he would be fed excrement as well. The group's members held the younger child down so that he would not resist. They also smeared excrement on the child's face and forced him to drink water from the toilet bowl.
The children's father, David, told Ynet at the start of Chen's trial: "Such a twisted person who burns children – what kind of punishment can you give him? What kind of punishment can you give to a Nazi? This is what he did. He has to live with it."
In response to his own question, the father said, "There is no consolation for what he did. The best punishment for a person that hurts in such a way is for him to be healthy and have insight that will allow him to know what he did."