Apr 08,2008 00:00
TORONTO -- Israel was arranging Tuesday to seek the extradition of a radical rabbi from Canada in the torture of his followers' children, officials said.
Rabbi Elior Chen, 29, was named in an international warrant Monday in Jerusalem, a correspondent for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported.
Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told the newspaper Chen flew to an undisclosed city in Canada from Tel Aviv, and an extradition request was being prepared for his return.
Chen is considered the "spiritual mentor" who convinced a mother of eight children they needed beatings and burning to cleanse their behaviors.
The 38-year-old mother was indicted on child abuse charges Sunday. Two of her children, 4 and 5, were hospitalized in serious condition two weeks ago and the youngest is still in a coma and expected to remain indefinitely in a vegetative state, Israeli media reported.
Rosenfeld said Chen's notebooks and correspondence seized in a raid on his home last week were being scrutinized.
"It's difficult to put this into context, whether it's a cult, whether he's an extremist or some kind of psycho," he said.
Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.