Rabbi Convicted of Bribery Fails to Return From Sick-leave in New York

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, who was convicted of bribing a senior police officer, had spent six weeks in the U.S. receiving medical treatment.

Moti Milrod

Convicted rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, failed to return to Israel on Monday to begin serving his sentence, as ordered by the High Court of Justice.

Pinto was convicted of bribing a senior police officer in May and sentenced to a prison term of one year.

According to Pinto's attorney, Avigdor Feldman, the rabbi was hospitalized in New York after taking sick while waiting to board his plane to Israel on Sunday.

The High Court approved his six-week trip to the United States for medical treatment despite the opposition of the State Prosecutor's Office which suspected he would attempt to flee from justice.

Pinto failed to return to Israel when the six-week period expired last month. Following a request for the period to be extended, the court last week gave him until Monday to return to Israel. He failed to do so.

The court responded to a last-minute request for an additional extension by ordering the rabbi to be back in Israel on Tuesday.

Pinto's was convicted last May of bribing police Maj. Gen. Ephraim Bracha and obstruction of justice. His appeal against the verdict is scheduled to be heard on November 16.