Apr 15, 2016

Fugitive Israeli rabbi’s case postponed

Ditaba Tsotetsi
April 14, 2016

It is believed that Eliezer Berland is wanted for sexual offence charges in Israel.
Eliezer Berland 
The case of fugitive Israeli rabbi Eliezer Berland has been postponed to next Wednesday in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
It is believed that Berland has been on the run from Israeli authorities for about four years and is wanted for sexual offence charges.

The frail Berland appeared in court for a formal bail application on Thursday. He was arrested by Interpol in Sandton last week after checking in at a local hospital.

In court, Berland asked the magistrate if he could lie down a bit as he was feeling weak. However, proceedings wrapped up quickly as the State was not ready to proceed. The State prosecutor informed the court that she still needed to study the docket as it was only handed to her recently.

Berland's lawyer believes there is a smear campaign against his client and that police have been intimidating the Jewish community in South Africa not to engage him.

He says, "What became clear is that the police informer that was planted to be the friend of the Rabbi is the person that the police have been arranging with. The law does not allow that the police should plant an informer and then the informer should cause an innocent person to commit a crime or to commit an offence."

The lawyer also denied that Berland has been evading arrest. He said that throughout his stay in South Africa, Berland had never been asked by law enforcement officials to avail himself.

The lawyer further says they requested documentation to prove that Berland was being extradited from South Africa but claims the State is yet to provide this.


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