Dutch Court: Fugitive Rabbi Suspected of Sex Crimes Can Be Extradited to Israel

78-year-old Eliezer Berland was accused of sexual abuse by a number of his female followers, including a 15-year-old girl, in 2012.

Hadar Cohen

A Dutch court ruled on Thursday that fugitive ultra-Orthodox rabbi Eliezer Berland, suspected of sex crimes, can be extradited to Israel.

Following months of deliberation, a three-judge panel at an Amsterdam court announced that there is nothing preventing the Netherlands from turning the 78-year-old rabbi over to Israel for interrogation and prosecution.

Berland, formerly a leading member of the Breslov Hasidic movement and founder of the Shuvu Banim yeshiva, was accused of sexual abuse by a number of his female followers, including a 15-year-old girl, in 2012.

He was detained at Amsterdam airport in September 2014 on an international arrest warrant after 23 months on the run. He had arrived on a flight from South Africa, where he had been living since April. Berland also spent lengthy periods in Italy, Morocco and Zimbabwe.