Contacts for a plea agreement between the State Attorney’s Office and Eliezer Berland, who is accused of extortion, fraud and tax offenses and money laundering worth NIS 130 million. At present the gaps regarding the sentence are still large. A hearing in the case scheduled for today has been postponed due to Berland’s hospitalization and is set for the 17th of the month.
As you may recall, Berland provided various services (mental redemptions, counseling, fundraising and home circles) for a fee while leading the Shuvu Banim community. He allegedly refrained from reporting this income to the tax authorities, and even acted to hide the prohibited property. In addition, Berland is accused of employing workers amounting to millions of shekels without issuing pay slips and without tax deduction as required.
Last September, the Supreme Court partially upheld Berland’s appeal against extending his detention until the end of the proceedings. In the decision, Judge Alex Stein wrote: “The inability to give a detainee minimal trust means the non-existence of a threshold condition for release for any alternative, even if it includes electronically supervised detention, supervisors, a security company envelope and security.” However, this rule does not apply when the detainee suffers from a life-threatening illness that can best be treated only outside the prison walls. “
Advocates Amit Haddad and Rotem Tobol, representing Berland, said: “The Supreme Court today made an important decision that reminded us that in a democracy a supreme value that exceeds the other values is the value of life. Unfortunately, during his time in detention, Berland’s health deteriorated and he needed medical attention almost daily. The situation is that Rabbi Berland is in danger of death and continued detention may, God forbid, tip the scales. We are happy that the Supreme Court has ordered that the situation be as it is and that it consider a release. “
A few years ago, Berland was convicted on a plea deal of indecent assault and assault and sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which he actually ran for 10 months. As a result, many rabbis, from Breslav and abroad, renounced him.