Court Rejects Former Chief Rabbi’s Request To Close Bribery Case

District Court Judge Moshe Yoad Hacohen rejected Thursday a plea by former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger to close the case against him due to abuse of process claims.

The indictment against Rabbi Metzger includes charges of bribery, theft and money laundering, and other offenses.

The plea submitted by Rabbi Metzger’s lawyers claimed that the indictment should be erased due to “selective enforcement”, since all the other people involved in the case have not been indicted.

Judge Hacohen rejected the abuse of process claim and stated that Rabbi Metzger and others involved do not belong to the same category of people and therefore a different approach taken towards the other suspects would not be selective enforcement and would not constitute abuse of process.

“A public servant who receives bribes stands in a different legal, ethical and moral category than other suspects, since the main goal of the law against receiving bribes is to ensure purity of motives in the public service and to maintain the public’s trust in it.

This does not affect the severity with which we should treat one who gives or brokers bribes or is involved in any other way with them, but the one receiving the bribe is the main player on stage,” wrote the judge.

The judge added that Rabbi Metzger is accused of all eight charges in the case while the other participants are only suspected of one or two of the offenses.

The State Prosecutor announced during the hearing that it intends to indict other people involved in the case after internal hearings take place in November and December.

The Prosecutor added that it intends to file a joint indictment against other suspects if, after the hearings, there is room for such an indictment.

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