Israeli chief rabbi suspends self amid fraud probe

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Associated Press

Posted on June 23, 2013 at 5:05 AM

Updated Sunday, Jun 23 at 5:05 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of Israel's two chief rabbis has suspended himself amid a police probe into an alleged money laundering scheme.

Yona Metzger's lawyers said Sunday he decided to refrain from carrying out any official roles while a police investigation continues. Metzger was questioned last week over fraud and bribery allegations. Police raided his home and office following a months-long undercover investigation into his financial dealings. He denies the allegations.

Metzger is mere weeks away from ending his 10-year term as the country's chief rabbi for Ashkenazi, or European-descended, Jews. Along with a second chief rabbi from the Sephardic, or Middle Eastern lineage, Metzger has led the country's supreme body for overseeing Jewish services.

In 2005, Metzger was also questioned over fraud allegations. No charges were filed.

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