Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided to indict former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger for accepting bribes, and other charges, pending a hearing.
Metzger was arrested in November 2013 on suspicion of bribe-taking, money-laundering and fraud during his term as Ashkenazi chief rabbi, from 2003 until June 2013, when he stepped down in light of the investigation against him.
Lahav 433, the police unit often referred to as the "Israeli FBI," conducted a months-long inquiry into allegations that Metzger accepted monetary and material bribes in exchange for advancing the interests of several non-profit organizations.
The bribes totaled several million shekels, according to police. Metzger also allegedly tried to silence witnesses and interfere in the investigation, according to reports.
Police questioned Metzger about the case in June last year, around the end of his stint as chief rabbi, and placed him under house arrest. Metzger has denied the allegations against him.
Police said the findings of the investigation painted an increasingly clear picture that Metzger "allegedly received, over the years, illegal sums worth millions of shekels in exchange for performing activities and making decisions in various areas related to his role as chief rabbi – donations, conversions, rabbinic appointments, corrupt ties to tycoons" and more.