Rabbi can await extradition proceedings out of jail

An Israeli rabbi wanted in Israel for allegedly sexually abusing several young women does not have to be locked up pending an extradition hearing, a Dutch court ruled on Monday.

Eliezer Berland was arrested at Schiphol airport in September but released from custody the next day. The public prosecution department said he should be kept under lock and key while the courts consider the extradition request.

Judges said on Monday Berland can remain a free man until the hearing on November 17. However, he has been ordered to report to the police on a daily basis.

Berland is suspected of sexually abusing and raping a number of young women. The claims first emerged in 2012 and since then the rabbi has managed to keep out of Israel hands, spending time in the US, Switzerland, Moroco, Zimbabwe and South Africa.


This weekend, some 300 of his supporters flocked from all over the world to the Wadden Sea island of Texel, where the rabbi was staying on a holiday park run by local convert Avraham Pranger to celebrate Yom Kippur.

Some 30 guests had been expected. Local officials are said by Trouw to be furious that so many people turned up and that no extra sanitary provisions had been laid on.

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