Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron has broken rabbis' silence over the serious suspicions against former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, revealing that he had heard about the criminal acts attributed to Metzger even before he was elected and had warned against his appointment to the senior position.
Rabbi Bakshi-Doron said in an interview to ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Barama, "We in fact knew about it before he was elected, and I declared and announced that God forbid there would be a defamation of God, because I was aware of the reality. I was told, I received evidence and all. Unfortunately, he was elected anyway."
The former chief rabbi criticized those who brought about Metzger's elections, saying that he was certain to get into trouble. "Sometimes things should really be considered earlier," he said.
Bakshi-Doron added that these things should be said, although one of those who supported Metzger's election was late Orthodox Lithuanian leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
"Where there is defamation of God, there is no respect for the rabbi," he said. "Unfortunately, the defamation of God was great and remained great."
'Papers will make two ears tingle'
Rabbi Bakshi-Doron himself was allegedly involved in another corruption affair, known as "the rabbis' case." An indictment filed against him for obtaining a thing by fraud under aggravating circumstances, fraud and breach of trust is still being discussed at the Jerusalem District Court.
Bakshi-Doron is accused of knowing about false rabbi ordination certificates issued for more than 1,000 military and police members, through which hundreds of millions of shekels were extracted from the State deceitfully.
About two weeks ago, Rabbi Metzger was arrested for the second time on suspicion of taking a bribe, obtaining a thing by fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, obstructing investigation proceedings and subornation of witnesses.
According to suspicions, millions of shekels collected through donations were transferred to associations linked to the rabbi.
Before he was placed under house arrest with conditions, the Magistrate's Court extended his remand by nine days. Judge Menahem Mizrahi warned that the investigation material "will make the two ears of anyone exposed to it tingle."