JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has indicted former Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger on corruption.
The indictment filed Tuesday specifies bribery, fraud and money laundering for receiving illegal donations for services he conducted in his role as chief rabbi. Metzger is accused of accepting nearly $2.6 million in bribes – keeping nearly $2 million for himself while paying the rest to accomplices and charitable organizations.
He is accused of profiting from donations directed to charitable causes, and of taking bribes to sway his opinion on matters he decided as chief rabbi.
“The investigation painted a clear picture according to which (Metzger) received bribes and illicit funds for years in exchange to using his position and influence over issues like donations, conversion to Judaism, rabbinic appointments as well as ties with business moguls in exchange for personal gain,” the indictment read, Ynet reported.
Metzger completed his 10-year term as chief rabbi in July 2013. He was arrested and questioned a month before his term ended and released.