Two Israel and Charedi women were arrested in Germany earlier this week after they were accused of stealing from a store known as Primerack. The women will be remanded to a prison cell in Berlin until at least Monday, and then released. It has been reported that the women were ill-treated and not cared for. In addition their wigs were removed and confiscated as they constituted a foreign object.
Chabad Rabbi of Berlin Rabbi Shmuel Segel, who sits on the Board of Directors for German Rabbis, went to visit the women on Thursday for the second time since the arrest.
According to Segel, the women will be released on Monday, as the judges were not able to hear the charges before then. Both Segel and Chief Rabbi of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal attempted to persuade the judges to hear the charges earlier and not wait until Monday.
One of the women’s family members told Israeli media that: “The store is nothing more than a bazaar shop with an open front. These women are normal women, there is no way that they would steal something. It is far more likely that the items simply slipped off a table and landed with their purchases.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry under the auspices of Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely has been working tirelessly to convince the Norway or Oslo municipal government to get the prisoners released earlier.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is also in discussions with the powers that be there to bring up the hearing on Friday. While it has not yet been confirmed, it appears likely that the okay will be given.
Should it be decided not to hold the hearing, or that the women should not be freed, the Israeli Consulate in Berlin together with Chabad have taken it upon themselves to bring the prisoners whatever they need. They have already requested that should the judges not rule in their favor, then the women would be released to the responsibility of the Jewish community in Berlin for Shabbos and would return shortly after Shabbos.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)