Chief Superintendent Doron Ben-Amo, who is responsible for Rabbi Eliezer Berland's case in the Jerusalem police department, on Monday morning said that there is an existential difference between Rabbi Berland and "normal" rabbis who bless sick people.
"It's not right to compare Berland to a regular rabbi," Ben-Amo told Galatz. "To the best of my knowledge, a normal rabbi does not put a price tag on a blessing, and does not promise things that cannot happen, like health for a terminally ill person."
"The Prosecutor's Office has been given pretty solid proofs, even at this stage, of crimes of exploitation and receiving something by fraud."
Meanwhile, attorney Adi Carmeli, who is representing Rabbi Berland, told Reshet Bet that the funds in question had not been given to him.
"These are indeed very serious suspicions. His version is completely different. These are people who donated money. Money did not go to him, it went to needy people," Carmeli said.
On Sunday, the court extended Rabbi Berland's arrest by five days.
Berland, 81, is the founder of the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem and was a prominent figure within the Breslov community. After the allegations of sexual misconduct came to light in 2012, Rabbi Berland fled the country, traveling Europe and Africa while evading arrest and extradition.
In 2016, after years abroad, Rabbi Berland was arrested in South Africa and extradited to Israel, where he was convicted under a plea bargain agreement to two counts of sexual assault and sentenced to 18 months in prison.