Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto returned to Israel from New York today and on his arrival in Ben Gurion International Airport, Pinto complained of feeling ill and was rushed to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for what his associates said was cardiac emergency. At the hospital, Pinto underwent a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, which reportedly ruled out the presence of coronary artery disease.
Above: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto Returns To Israel, Complains Of Sudden Cardiac Trouble, Is Hospitalized – But Is He Really Ill?
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto returned to Israel from New York today and on his arrival in Ben Gurion International Airport, Pinto complained of feeling ill and was rushed to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for what his associates said was cardiac emergency, Ha’aretz reported.
At the hospital, Pinto underwent a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, which reportedly ruled out the presence of coronary artery disease.
For months, Pinto has refused to return to Israel to complete the plea bargain he agreed to. The Sefardi haredi kabbalist-to-the-stars has claimed to have various serious illnesses, most recently brain cancer, but Israel’s state prosecutor and many Pinto watchers believe Pinto is exaggerating his claimed illnesses or lying outright. He has at various times failed to provide the court with official medical evidence to back up his claims and only returned to Israel today after it became clear over the weekend the court would likely allow the state to seize his bond and void his plea deal if he didn’t.
Pinto’s fourth and last request to the court for a postponement was reportedly accompanied by a medical opinion that said that since Pinto is expected to undergo an operation in the near future, he should not be forced to travel during the few weeks preceding it.
The prosecution’s expert medical opinion reportedly found there “is no medical reason preventing the flight and arrival from New York on the scheduled date,” and noted that Pinto’s medical expert gave no reason to support any urgency for the surgery – which seemingly shows Pinto was lying about the severity of his illness, whatever it is, all along.
Tel Aviv District Court Judge Oded Mudrik lashed out at the medical opinion Pinto provided the court.
“The accused does not have the status of a regular person who has a choice of deciding for himself the substance and location of his treatment and the identity of the attending doctors. The question before me is not the patient’s ‘convenience,’ but the physical feasibility of flying the accused to Israel to stand trial, the amount of risk this entails and whether efficient care can be provided in Israel. The defense expert doesn’t address any of this,” Mudrik wrote.
Last year, before being allowed to leave Israel for New York City, where he lives for about half of each year, Pinto agreed to plead guilty to bribing Menashe Arviv, the former head of the elite Lahav 433 unit of the Israel Police, Israel’s version of the FBI, in exchange for receiving a sentence that would not exceed one year in prison and which could even be probation-only. Pinto also agreed to testify against Arviv, who has not only denied Pinto’s allegations, but who has strongly refuted many of them with testimony of third parties, travel documents, his public schedule – and even a lie detector test passed by his son.
Before the controversial and much criticized plea deal was reached, Pinto faced charges of bribery, interfering with an investigation and making threats, all related to alleged embezzlement from a charity run by an associate of Pinto’s and that Pinto allegedly effectively controlled. Pinto’s associate and several other Hazon Yeshaya charity staffers allegedly stole millions of dollars of food donations earmarked for elderly Holocaust survivors, sold the food on Israel’s black market and pocketed the cash – some of which allegedly ended up in Pinto’s pockets.
The plea deal Pinto reached last year does not cover related bribery charges for his alleged attempt to bribe another senior police officer, Brigadier General Ephraim Bracha.
The formal indictment of Pinto is still scheduled to be read in court Tuesday.
Pinto is one of the top ten richest rabbis in Israel with a known net worth – all supposedly from his work as a 'kabbalist' and rabbi – in the tens of millions of dollars.