Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Indicted in Jerusalem Court

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A criminal indictment was handed down on Monday morning 11 Teves against former Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron Shlita. The rav is alleged to have been involved in granting fraudulent semicha to over 1,000 members of Israel Police and the IDF to permit them to receive an increase in salary for obtaining the degree. The prosecution states that as a result of the semicha, the agencies were embezzled out of millions of NIS.

The indictment alleges that the former chief rabbi was aware that the candidates were not entitled to the semicha yet he went along with granting them the rabbinical ordination.

In response to the announced indictment, defense attorney Yaakov Weinrott stated “It is most unfortunate that after over five years since the prosecutor told Rabbi Bakshi-Doron that the case was closed an indictment was filed against him. The prosecution’s decision to change his mind at this time, to submit the indictment against the 72-year-old rabbi, comes 12 years after the events occurred.”

Weinrott adds that the charges against the rav are baseless “and the prosecutor agrees the rabbi did not receive anything. We are quite confident that a court will exonerate the rav.”

“I emphasize that the decision to bring Rabbi Bakshi-Doron to trial represents a grave disservice against him personally, one who fought such a phenomenon with all his might to make certain that security personnel studying in colleges did not receive any money they were not entitled to.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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