NEW YORK (JTA) — Former Agriprocessors official Sholom Rubashkin can be released from jail, a federal judge ruled.
Judge Linda Reade of U.S. District Court in Northern Iowa ruled Tuesday that although Rubashkin is a flight risk, reasonable measures could be taken to ensure his appearance at trial, the Des Moines Register reported. Reade required that Rubashkin post $500,000 bail and confine himself to Allamakee County, Iowa. She also barred him from any contact with potential witnesses in the case.
Rubashkin, who has been behind bars since November, is expected to be released Thursday.
He is facing a range of charges related to his management of the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, which was the target of a massive federal immigration raid in May.
A federal judge in Iowa had ruled that Rubashkin was a flight risk and should be held until trial, which is scheduled to begin in September. Judge Magistrate Jon Scoles drew pointed criticism on his ruling from several national Jewish groups in part because of his reference to Israel’s Law of Return, which grants automatic citizenship to Jews.
The Jewish groups warned that the ruling set a dangerous precedent that could be used to deny bail to Jews solely on the basis of their religion.
“All I know is obviously we’ve been missing him at home and we’re very excited that he’s coming home,” Rubashkin’s wife, Leah, told JTA. “Jail life is no picnic, especially when you’re an observant Jew. And he’s looking forward to coming home and being together with his family.”