Rabbi Yona Metzger, former chief rabbi of Israel, was arrested Monday morning on the suspicion of bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
Metzger was also arrested five months ago. Israel Police unit Lahav 433, which has been handling the case for several months together with the Israel Tax Authority, said it suspects that the scope of the funds connected with the alleged crimes has reached the millions of shekels. On Monday, the police will request to extend Metzger's custody for an additional 10 days.
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His arrest Monday morning is the sequel to a development in the investigation that was made public in June. Recently, the investigators managed to establish their suspicions against the rabbi using new proofs. The investigation showed that millions of shekels in donations were allegedly transferred to non-profit organizations connected to the rabbi.
The investigation also showed that Metzger used part of those funds for his personal needs, and additional funds were accumulated as bribes for decisions that he made as chief rabbi of Israel.
Since the previous investigation, the national fraud unit continued to trace the rabbi, and members of the unit say that during this period they identified efforts by Metzger to obstruct the investigation proceedings and tamper with witness.
Before Metzger's arrest in June, the unit carried out a secret investigation over the course of a few months. After the investigation in June, Metzger was sentenced to house arrest for five days and he was subsequently forbidden to leave the country and make contact with other suspects in the case.
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