Alleged sex predator rabbi appeals extradition ruling

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Alleged "sex pest" Rabbi Eliezer Berland is appealing to the Netherlands Supreme Court in an effort to avoid his imminent extradition to Israel, his lawyer Louis de Leon told ANP on Friday.

The 77-year-old is facing several criminal charges, among them rape and enslavement. He is wanted in Israel where the religious leader is accused of participating in the crimes.

The court in Haarlem ruled last week that Berland should be extradited at the behest of the Public Prosecutor (OM). However, the Rabbi's extradition could also potentially be blocked by Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten.

Opstelten has not publicly commented on the matter.

Berland was arrested in September at the airport on arrival to the Netherlands, but released shortly after on condition that the Netherlands seize his passport, and that the rabbi regularly check in with the public prosecutor. He had been on the run for two years at this point, after charges were laid against him by women who claimed abuse within the Shuvu Banim Hassidic sect that he founded and led