Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will be questioned under caution, son who confessed now refusing to speak to police

3 Comments:

At 4:05 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

1)
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/574290.html

Tue., May 10, 2005 Iyar 1, 5765

Amar to be questioned today over abduction

By Yuval Yoaz and Roni Singer

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will be questioned under caution today in his Jerusalem office, in connection with the alleged kidnapping and beating of the suitor of his 17-year-old daughter.

Following consultations with State Prosecutor Eran Shendar and senior law enforcement officials, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the interrogation last night.

Amar's daughter met a potential suitor in an Internet chat room, and after the couple met, her mother allegedly asked the girl's brother to deter the youth. The brother, Meir Amar, 31, is suspected of abducting the boy with the help of two friends, and beating him in the rabbi's home. The affair became public last Friday when a gag order was lifted.

In light of the decision to question Amar as a suspect in the affair, his attorney, Navot Tel-Tsur, requested that the interrogation take place as soon as possible, immediately on the rabbi's return from Thailand this morning.

"We asked for the interrogation to be brought forward because we didn't want to go through Independence Day under such circumstances," Tel-Tsur said.

Despite the fact that Amar was at home when his daughter's suitor was brought there, associates of the rabbi continue to claim that he was unaware of what was going on, and only learned of the matter at a later stage. Nevertheless, the fact that the rabbi was at home at the time raised sufficient doubts that led to the decision to question him under caution.

For now, Amar is not considering suspending himself from his position as president of the High Rabbinical Court.

According to sources close to Amar, the Amar affair is "a private incident, like a serious traffic offense," in contrast to the investigation into Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, which is "a matter of ethical standards."

Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv District Attorney office is leaning toward accepting the police recommendation regarding filing an indictment against the Sephardi chief rabbi's wife, Mazal Amar, who they believe was involved in the kidnapping and in the beating of her daughter's suitor. Police have recommended charging Mazal Amar with conspiring to commit a crime.

The rabbi's son, the principal suspect in the affair, will appear in the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court this morning for a remand hearing. He was questioned yesterday again, but chose this time to exercise his right to remain silent. During previous interrogations, Meir Amar admitted to the allegations against him.

Responding last night to the attorney general's decision to allow police to question the chief rabbi under caution, Amar's public relations advisor, Roni Rimon, said: "Naturally, the police wish to hear the rabbi's comments on the affair too, and the rabbi will gladly respond to the various issues."

2)
http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=81631

Chief Rabbi Amar to be Questioned by Police
22:07 May 09, '05 / 30 Nisan 5765

(IsraelNN.com) Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced earlier tonight that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will be questioned by police following his scheduled return tomorrow from Thailand.

Rabbi Amar is now a suspect in a kidnapping case involving his wife and children, suspected of abducting a Bnei Brak teenager and beating him in the hope of ending a romance between him and a daughter of the rabbi.

Mazuz’s decision will place Rabbi Amar in the position of a major suspect in the case. The exact time of questioning is to be determined, but most likely; it will not be too long after the rabbi’s return.

3)
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1115605169920

Updated May. 9, 2005 23:31
A-G okays probe of Rabbi Amar
By YAAKOV KATZ AND DAN IZENBERG

Attorney General Menahem Mazuz on Monday gave the green light for police to question Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar regarding his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and beating of his daughter's suitor.

Mazuz and State Attorney Eran Shendar met on Monday evening with the head of the police investigations and intelligent branch and other senior officers who came to ask for permission to interrogate Amar, who is due to return to Israel from Thailand on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Amar said that the chief rabbi would be questioned immediately upon his arrival. Amar has denied involvement and pledged cooperation with the investigation.

Police suspect that Amar's son Meir, 31, joined two Israeli Arab friends in accosting a 17-year-old ultra-Orthodox youth said to be carrying on an affair with the daughter, Ayala, 18, with the Internet as a go-between.

The Movement for Quality of Government claimed on Monday that Shas chairman Eli Yishai acted inappropriately when he asked the police last week not to keep Amar's wife in prison over the weekend in connection with the affair.

Yishai told The Jerusalem Post he called senior police officers on Friday to ask them that Mazal Amar not be kept in prison over the weekend. While he would not say whom he called, sources said it was Tel Aviv District Cmdr. David Tzur, who is directing the sensitive investigation against the chief rabbi's family.

"I asked [the police] for one request," Yishai said. "That if the investigation is finished, they should not keep the rabbanit [in prison] over Shabbat."

Tzur and Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi downplayed Yishai's intervention, saying it was "insignificant."

However, the Movement for Quality of Government said it would consider launching an investigation of its own against Yishai, after hearing about the incident from the Post.

"There is certainly something wrong with this type of intervention," a spokesman for the movement said. "It is improper for politicians to use their position to promote a close associate."

Karadi said he investigated the issue and spoke with police officers who MKs had spoken with. He said the phone calls were made to ensure that Amar, who was released by the court to house arrest on Friday, would receive kosher food in prison.

"The question is what was the content of the conversations," Karadi told reporters following an Independence Day ceremony at police headquarters in Jerusalem. "I inquired and found that the there was nothing wrong with the conversations."

Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra said there is nothing wrong with politicians making private requests of senior police officers.

"A Knesset Member can turn to whomever he wants," Ezra said, adding: "I am sure the police force is clean of any political influence."

According to Yishai, "It is my job to ask the police. As a public service I have to ask the police and they have the job of saying yes or no."

4)
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/574257.html

Ayala Amar, the daughter of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, arriving at a Tel Aviv police station Sunday. (Motti Kimche)

Last update - 23:46 09/05/2005

Police to question Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar on Tuesday

By Roni Singer and Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondents

Police will question Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar under caution Tuesday, regarding his knowledge of the alleged kidnapping and beating of his 18-year-old daughter's suitor.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided Monday to allow police to question the rabbi.

Mazuz held a meeting Monday evening with police and justice officials and reviewed all the material police have collected in the case. Police have so far no evidence showing Amar had any knowledge of, or was involved in, the affair.

Police nevertheless need the rabbi's version of events since they all took place in his home, while he was there.

The rabbi has been in Thailand attending a ceremony of solidarity with tsnuami victims, and he is due to land in Israel early Tuesday morning. It is possible that the police could await the rabbi at the airport and then take him in for questioning.

Amar's public relations advisor Ronny Rimon said in reaction to Mazuz's decision that "naturally, the police wish to also hear the rabbi's views on the affair, and the rabbi will gladly answer."

Sources close to the rabbi said Tuesday that "it is clear to us that the rabbi didn't know anything."

His 18-year-old daughter met a potential suitor in an Internet chat room and, after the couple met, her mother allegedly asked the girl's brother to deter the youth. The brother, Meir Amar, 31, is suspected of abducting the boy with two friends and beating him in the rabbi's home. The affair became public last Friday when a gag order was lifted.

The police want to know if the rabbi knew about the relationship between his daughter and the suitor, and if he was aware of or involved in the kidnapping plan. A key question is whether he knew about the plan or heard any untoward noises in the early morning hours in his home when the Bnei Brak suitor was allegedly being beaten by the rabbi's son, Meir, and his two alleged accomplices.

Police investigators said they were surprised Sunday by a report in Yedioth Ahronoth that was far more detailed about what happened to the Bnei Brak youth than what he had told them. Police sources said the youth told them that the rabbi "heard and knew" about what was going on that morning in his living room.

That has not come up in the evidence given by others questioned in the affair. Police say they can't tell yet if that is because everyone else apparently involved - the rabbi's wife, his daughter, son and the two friends of the son - are trying to keep the rabbi out of the affair.

The Bnei Brak youth told police Sunday that he asked a friend to relay the claims to the press and the youth remained unavailable for comment Sunday.

Police say they have enough evidence now to press charges. On Sunday, they put the rabbi's wife, Mazal, in the same room with the youth for an hour, after the rebbetzin had been questioned for several hours. Police say she knew in detail what her son was doing. The daughter, Ayala, was only questioned for a few minutes and never asked if her father knew what was happening.

5)
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3083522,00.html

Chief Rabbi Amar to be interrogated

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz permits police questioning of Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in kidnapping case; public relations firm hired to help rabbi deal with scandal
By Tal Rosner and Avi Cohen

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will be interrogated by police for his role in the kidnapping of his daughter's suitor, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided Monday following a request submitted by the police on the matter.

The interrogation is scheduled for Tuesday morning, following Amar's expected return from Thailand.

"Let the police do its job, with the help of God it will all pass," Rabbi Amar's son, Eliyahu, said in response to the decision.

The Public Relations agency Rimon - Cohen, which was hired to help the rabbi deal with the scandal, said in a statement "Naturally the police wishes to hear the rabbi's take on the affair, and the rabbi would gladly respond on the various issues."

Monday police investigators completed their questioning of those involved in the affair, including that of Rabbi Amar's son, Meir, who is the prime suspect in the case.

During the interrogation police investigators confronted the rabbi's wife, Mazal, with the complainant in an effort to determine whether Rabbi Amar new of the goings on.

How it all began

Last Thursday Rabbi Amar's son and wife were arrested on suspicions of kidnapping a religious youth who had dated the rabbi's daughter.

The rabbi's 18-year-old daughter, Ayala, met the 17-year-old ultra-Orthodox youngster three months ago through an Internet chat.

However, the Amar family did not approve of the relationship.

After failed attempts to convince the couple to end their relationship, the rabbi's son, Meir Amar, contacted two acquaintances, brothers Ahmed and Abdullah Sawalma from the Israeli Arab town of Kalansua, and together they planned the kidnapping.

Reminiscent of 'A Clockwork Orange'

According to police officials, the rabbi’s daughter coaxed the youngster into meeting her at a street in the religious town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, where he was pushed into a car and kidnapped at knifepoint by the rabbi’s son.

The officials said the youth was beaten and threatened during the drive to an apartment in Kalansua.

“When they took him up to the apartment I stayed in the car the whole time, and did not see what they were doing to him,” the rabbi’s daughter said during questioning.

Police suspect the youngster was beaten for four hours, as if from a “Clockwork Orange" scene, unaware that his kidnapper was the brother of his girlfriend.

The youth was taken to Jerusalem the following morning where his kidnappers continued to beat him in the rabbi’s home.

Meir Amar claimed he wanted to “reeducate” his sister and her suitor, as the ultra-Orthodox are not permitted to meet prior to their wedding.

(05.10.05, 00:33)

6)
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3083474,00.html

Chief Rabbi Amar’s media consultant: Rabbi will answer police questions

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar’s media consultant said the Rabbi is willing to cooperate with police. The consultant responded to attorney general’s decision to subpoena the Rabbi. (Avi Cohen)

(05.09.05, 20:59)

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=81642

Rabbi Amar Will Cooperate Totally with Police
02:50 May 10, '05 / 1 Iyar 5765

(IsraelNN.com) A spokesman for Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who is in Thailand, stated the chief rabbi will cooperate fully with police during questioning and will do what he can to assist in the investigation.

Rabbi Amar and his family are suspects in a kidnapping case involving a young Bnei Brak male who was dating the rabbi’s daughter against the wishes of her parents.

 
At 7:14 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/574341.html

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Rabbi Shlomo Amar (R) handing a Thai boy a present during the Tsunami Toy Drive in Phuket, Thailand on Sunday. (Reuters)

Last update - 03:41 10/05/2005

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar to be questioned Tuesday over abduction

By Yuval Yoaz and Roni Singer, Haaretz Correspondents

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will be questioned under caution Tuesday in his Jerusalem office, in connection with the alleged kidnapping and beating of the suitor of his 17-year-old daughter.

Following consultations with State Prosecutor Eran Shendar and senior law enforcement officials, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the interrogation Monday night.

Amar's daughter met a potential suitor in an Internet chat room, and after the couple met, her mother allegedly asked the girl's brother to deter the youth. The brother, Meir Amar, 31, is suspected of abducting the boy with the help of two friends, and beating him in the rabbi's home. The affair became public last Friday when a gag order was lifted.




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In light of the decision to question Amar as a suspect in the affair, his attorney, Navot Tel-Tsur, requested that the interrogation take place as soon as possible, immediately on the rabbi's return from Thailand this morning.

"We asked for the interrogation to be brought forward because we didn't want to go through Independence Day under such circumstances," Tel-Tsur said.

Despite the fact that Amar was at home when his daughter's suitor was brought there, associates of the rabbi continue to claim that he was unaware of what was going on, and only learned of the matter at a later stage. Nevertheless, the fact that the rabbi was at home at the time raised sufficient doubts that led to the decision to question him under caution.

For now, Amar is not considering suspending himself from his position as president of the High Rabbinical Court.

According to sources close to Amar, the Amar affair is "a private incident, like a serious traffic offense," in contrast to the investigation into Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, which is "a matter of ethical standards."

Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv District Attorney office is leaning toward accepting the police recommendation regarding filing an indictment against the Sephardi chief rabbi's wife, Mazal Amar, who they believe was involved in the kidnapping and in the beating of her daughter's suitor. Police have recommended charging Mazal Amar with conspiring to commit a crime.

The rabbi's son, the principal suspect in the affair, will appear in the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court this morning for a remand hearing. He was questioned again Monday, but chose this time to exercise his right to remain silent. During previous interrogations, Meir Amar admitted to the allegations against him.

Responding Monday night to the attorney general's decision to allow police to question the chief rabbi under caution, Amar's public relations advisor, Roni Rimon, said: "Naturally, the police wish to hear the rabbi's comments on the affair too, and the rabbi will gladly respond to the various issues."

 

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