Israeli court rejects plea bargain in ex-Chief Rabbi case

JERUSALEM (AP) " A Jerusalem court rejected a plea bargain with a former chief rabbi of Israel over corruption charges, adding another year of prison time.

The court said Thursday that Yona Metzger will serve 4.5 years in prison. That adds another year to the terms of a plea bargain reached last month.

Metzger's attorney, Yehuda Fried, told Channel 2 TV he might appeal. The station said the judges made the rare decision to take a strong stance against corruption.

Metzger ended his term early, in 2013, over charges that included breach of trust, fraud and tax offenses.

Israel has two chief rabbis, representing the Ashkenazi tradition from Europe and the Sephardic tradition from the Middle East and North Africa. Together, they lead the country's supreme body overseeing Jewish religious services. Metzger represented the Ashkenzi tradition.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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