A Jerusalem Magisterial Court extended the detention of Aharon Ramati who is accused of running a cult in a Chareidi community in Yerushalayim. During the discussions at the hearing, police asked for a warrant to search Ramati’s phones.
Police currently suspect that the testimony of one of the suspects points to an obstruction of justice. “When we brought the suspect into custody, we were told that he had to undergo a medical checkup outside of our custody and we, therefore, did not have time to present him with all of the evidence that we had collected. Nor were we able to confront him in the methods that we had prepared.”
A representative of the police also told the court that they had obtained files in which Ramati describes very clearly when children should be hit and when they should be given all sorts of other punishments.
Ramati’s Attorney, Gavi Tronshvilli claimed that the police were trying to take a group of like-minded people and make them into a cult. “Using the same methodology, one could take any group of extremist Chassidim and classify them as a cult and label the person standing at their head as a cult leader.”
Judge Elazar Bialin said that: “The testimony of one of the suspected participants strengthened, in a significant manner, the claim that this was indeed a cult, specifically, with relation to the charge of forcibly keeping the members in slave-like conditions. Similarly, the various documents found relating to numerous instructions given by Ramati with regards to how to treat children that also included acts of violence.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)