Graft trial opens of Israel ex-chief rabbi


Jerusalem (AFP)

A former Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, went on trial Thursday in Jerusalem on charges of taking bribes, fraud and money laundering, justice ministry and court officials said.

The rabbi has been charged with taking eight million shekels ($2 million) in bribes.

He also stands accused of fraud, attempted fraud, witness tampering and other felonies, according to the indictment filed by the justice ministry.

The Jerusalem district court agreed to the defence team's request for more time to prepare its case, adjourning the trial until July 4.

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.