Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger
Police Find More Than $200,000 In Cash Allegedly Hidden By Ex-Chief Rabbi Arrested For Fraud, Bribery
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The fraud, bribery, money laundering and embezzlement investigation into former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger has reportedly turned up troves of hidden cash.
Police arrested Metzger Monday for the second time.
He was first arrested in June and remanded to house arrest then for 15 days. He resigned as chief rabbi only weeks before his term was set to end.
Millions of shekels were allegedly stolen by Metzger and his associates while he was chief rabbi.
Police now have two new witnesses against Metzger, one of whom is a close associate of the former chief rabbi, the Times of Israel reported based on a report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.
Police also have found about $200,000 Metzger allegedly hid with his sister in Haifa. They reportedly also found $11,300 in cash hidden in books in Metzger’s home.
Metzger claimed the money was an inheritance, but police have reportedly determined that Metzger is lying.
“At 7 in the morning they came to my house, conducted a search and took me to the police station, without prior notification, of course. I’ve been in their custody for seven hours and not one question has been asked on one topic that I wasn’t asked about before. And one Jew wearing a kippa on his head came in the middle of the questioning and said: ‘You’re using your memory loss? We’ll put you in detention.’ As if the detention would refresh my memory?,” Metzger allegedly said in court Monday.
Metzger was charged with fraud, bribery, money laundering, breach of public trust, obstruction of justice and tampering with witnesses and is still remanded.
Metzger had a long laundry list of alleged corruption and sexual harassment allegations against him, most credible, when he was elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi 10 years ago in a backroom deal orchestrated by then-Ashkenazi-haredi-leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Elyashiv – who hated the state-chief-rabbinate – knew about the allegations against Metzger and knew many of the allegations to be credible. Elyashiv backed Metzger anyway to "restore the glory to the chief rabbinate," his spokesman told me almost a decade ago.