Rabbi’s death in Ukraine was part of a $660 robbery, court rules


(JTA) — A Ukrainian court convicted four people of the robbery of a rabbi in 2016 that resulted in his death.

Two of the defendants in the trial were minors when they committed their crimes, according to the prosecutor’s office of the Zhytomyr region. Of the four defendants, two are women, the office said in a statement Friday.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Deitsch, a Chabad rabbi who was in Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah, was assaulted in October 2016, suffering blows that put him in a coma and eventually led to his death. Deitch was 63 when he died.

The adults, aged 43 and 24, received 11 and nine years in jail respectively for robbery and causing severe bodily harm, but were neither charged with murder or manslaughter. The remaining defendants were sentenced to seven years each.

The assailants encountered Deitsch near the Zhytomyr train station at about 11 p.m. and stole a cellular phone worth about $600 and another $60 in cash, the statement said.

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