The extortion, violence and terror the Sicarii gang has inflicted on Mea Shearim store owners, women on public buses, and Beit Shemesh Modern Orthodox girls was paid for by money laundered by Eidah Charedis, Israel's prosecutors told a court in Jerusalem today. Meanwhile, the head of Eidah Charedis, Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, called the arrest of his personal assistant a "blood libel. I personally know Rav Amram and his is clean, he is pure. It is a libel like the Jews of Russia and Hungary endured.”
Some Eida Defendants Remain In Custody
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday night agreed to remand a number of the Eida 6 suspects, but the court did not accept a request from the state to order them held over for an additional ten days.
During the remand hearing, the prosecution told the court that funds from the Eida’s Vaad Artzi tzedaka were used to finance the activities and lives of the sikrikim.
The remand of Shmuel Lubitzky was extended until Wednesday, despite a request for a ten-day extension. He is accused of running the alleged money laundering operation that the state insists evaded income tax officials to tune of millions of new Israeli shekels annually.
A Kol Chai Radio corresponded at 22:00 [10 pm] on Sunday night reported that while the defendants looked strong earlier in the day, certain of the widespread community support, Lubitzky looked quite frail and unsettle towards evening, apparently not faring well under lock and key and enduring hours of questioning.
The court then discussed the remand request for Eli Bar Ezer, an official in the Vaad Artzi. Here too police asked for a 10-day remand but the court ordered him held until Wednesday as well.
Chadrei Chareidim reports that Lubitzky’s wife has already been summoned by police for questioning as well, but she was not taken into custody.
Eyal Golan, from Tel Aviv, was released with restrictions. The hearing regarding Amram Shapira, the Gavaad’s personal gabbai continues at this late hour.
One employee of the Mercantile Bank in Meah Shearim who was arrested earlier in the day was also released.
Police investigators told the court that Lubitzky was the main player in the illegal operation, adding that he has been funding the sikrikim and their activities. The court was reminded of the attacks against people and stores attributed to the sikrikim, emphasizing that a portion of their funding came from this Eida operated tzedaka. It was explained how well-meaning people gave charity, which Lubitzky in turn decided to use to fund the sikrikim violence against neighborhood shops or whomever they decided to target.
Attorney Yair Nehorai, who is representing two of the defendants, told the media “the court heard what the state said and in short, the arrests are politically motivated and not based on hard evidence”.
Meanwhile, the head of Eidah Charedis, Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, called the arrest of his personal assistant a "blood libel. I personally know Rav Amram and his is clean, he is pure. It is a libel like the Jews of Russia and Hungary endured.”