An Israeli rabbi who fled to Brazil amid child-abuse allegations is fighting extradition.
Ha’aretz on Friday quoted Elior Chen’s Israeli lawyer, Ariel Atari, as saying that Chen denies the charges. Atari returned this week from visiting Chen, 29, in Brazil.
Earlier this year, Israel issued an international arrest warrant for Chen, who fled the country after he was alleged to have counseled his followers to severely beat and burn children in order to rid them of the devil. Other children allegedly were forced to drink alcohol and turpentine until they vomited.
Some of the abuses have resulted in serious and life-threatening injuries. One toddler remains in a vegetative state.
Atari said he has secured kosher catering for Chen, who is being held in a Sao Paolo prison.