ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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‘Sex rabbi’ flees Netherlands to avoid extradition to Israel

Eliezer Berland, 78, fled Jewish state in 2012 following allegations of indecent assault by several women and teenage girl

Rabbi Eliezer Berland participates in a mass prayer session at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, on January 25, 2012. (Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Rabbi Eliezer Berland participates in a mass prayer session at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, on January 25, 2012. (Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who has been accused of sexually assaulting several of his female followers, reportedly has fled the Netherlands to avoid extradition to Israel.

Berland, 78, whose extradition was authorized last week by a Dutch court, failed to report to police on Tuesday, and Dutch prosecutors believe Berland may have fled to a country that does not have an extradition treaty with Israel.

The rabbi fled Israel in 2012 after several women and a 15-year-old girl laid charges of indecent assault against him.

Before being arrested last September in the Netherlands during a flight layover, Berland had lived in Morocco, Zimbabwe and Switzerland after fleeing Israel.

The Breslov Hasid, who is called the “Sex rabbi” in the Dutch media, had a large following in Israel, and several of his followers migrated to the Netherlands to live near their spiritual leader.

Berland has denied the allegations against him. He fought his extradition on the grounds that the alleged assaults happened in the West Bank and Israel does not have jurisdiction there. He was freed on bail in the Netherlands following his arrest.

 

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