Former chief rabbi of Israel sentenced to prison for graft
JERUSALEM - A former Israeli chief rabbi, Yona Metzger, was found guilty Monday of taking bribes on multiple occasions, as well as fraud and obstructing justice, a court said.
The Jerusalem district court convicted Metzger in a plea bargain, under which the ex-chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi branch of Judaism would be sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and fined $1.3 million.
The court, which accepted the plea bargain reached between Metzger and the prosecution, is not bound by the proposed sentence.
Discussions on the sentence will commence on February 8.
The former top rabbi had initially been charged with an array of felonies including taking bribes, fraud, money laundering and witness tampering.
Metzger stepped down in July 2013 after 10 years in office.
Israel has two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi and the other Sephardi, whose responsibilities include running rabbinical courts and regulating the food supervision industry.