Israel Police recommend trying former chief rabbi Metzger for bribery

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Police have recommended that former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger be put on trial for bribery and fraud.

A special police unit completed a months-long investigation on Tuesday and forwarded the recommendation to the Jerusalem District prosecutor’s office. Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will make a final decision on filing an indictment against Metzger. The unit investigated Metzger in cooperation with the Israel Tax Authority, according to Ynet.

Metzger was arrested in November 2013, and held in police custody for nine days. In June, 2013, shortly after the end of his ten-year term as chief rabbi, he was placed under house arrest and interrogated. At the time, police also seized documents, computers and other materials from Metzger’s home and office.

He is accused of accepting monetary and material bribes in exchange for advancing the interests of several nonprofit organizations. The amount of the bribes equals several million shekels, according to reports. Metzger reportedly also tried to silence witnesses and interfere in the investigation, according to reports.

Metzger reportedly is currently banned from speaking to the media as the case moves forward.

Metzger served as chief rabbi from 2003 to June 2013.