AP News

Influential Israeli rabbi suspected of bribery


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police are investigating a prominent Israeli rabbi on suspicion that he tried to bribe a high-ranking police officer for access to sensitive information.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Friday that Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto and his wife were questioned by police. He said the investigation is in progress.

Pinto, one of Israel's wealthiest and most influential rabbis, has a strong following among politicians and celebrities in Israel and the U.S.

In August, the FBI arrested an Israeli aide of the rabbi. The agency has investigated claims that other followers of the rabbi made illegal campaign contributions to a New York Republican in his 2009 bid for Congress.

Israel's Channel 2 TV said Pinto tried to bribe the officer for access to a police file pertaining to him.


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