Child Abuse Suspect Elior Chen in Israel After Brazil Extradition

Spiritual leader of Jerusalem sect alleged to have used knives and hammers to abuse children as young as 3.

Elior Chen, the spiritual leader of a Jerusalem sect suspected of severe child abuse, arrived in Israel on Wednesday after being extradited from Brazil.

Chen and several of his followers allegedly used knives, hammers and other instruments to abuse children as young as 3 and 4 years old in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit in February and March 2008.

Jerusalem police said they would interrogate Chen upon his arrival on Wednesday, and plan to request that his remand be extended during a court hearing on Thursday.

Chen allegedly hit the children in the head and face and burned their hands as part of a purification ritual. One child sustained permanent brain damage and is in a vegetative state, according to Israeli officials.

Brazilian police arrested Chen in Sao Paulo in June 2008 after a 45-day manhunt.

He fought extradition and his case was heard last May by Brazil's Supreme Court, which found there was cause for Chen to stand trial for allegedly subjecting eight children to intense physical and mental suffering because they were supposedly possessed by the devil.

An appeal to the court was rejected last month.