Jerusalem cult investigation compromised by leaks before arrests began

Rabbi Aharon Ramati's impending arrest was leaked even before operation, interrupting investigative proceedings, allowing Ramati to prepare

Mordechai Sones ,

Police escort Rabbi Aharon Ramati for court hearing
Police escort Rabbi Aharon Ramati for court hearing
Flash 90

The police investigation into the compound in Jerusalem suspected of housing a cult was compromised by leaks before arrests commenced, reports Channel 13 News reporter Yossi Eli.

The suspicion is that dozens of women and children were held in the compound against their will. Information about Rabbi Aharon Ramati's impending arrest was leaked even before the operation, leading to serious interruption of investigative proceedings in the case, allowing Ramati to hide some of the minors and warn his people.

Police arrested a relative close to Ramati who was the individual who warned him, but police are currently focused on trying to determine the source of the leak.

Ten people were arrested in the raid, including a 60-year-old man who ran the school located on the premises, along with nine female suspects.

Authorities suspect the school, which operated as a separate and tightly knit-community, was in practice a cult which used coercion and abuse to force dozens of women and children to remain there against their will.

The ten suspects arrested in the raid were taken into custody on suspicion of holding victims in slave-like conditions, child abuse, and sexual abuse.

Last night the court ordered the release of three women arrested as part of the investigation. Attorney Dotan Danieli, who represents one of the women, said: "It was clear at the beginning of the case that the heavy suspicions had no basis. Police conduct has led to serious and unnecessary harm to the young women's privacy."




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