The chief rabbi of the Portuguese city of Porto was released on Sunday after he was arrested for alleged violations of the naturalization of Russian billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and other Jews.
However, Chief Rabbi Daniel Litvak – according to the Portuguese news agency “Losa” and the newspaper “Corío da Manha” – may not leave Portugal until further notice, and he must surrender his passport, and he must notify the police of his whereabouts 3 times a week.
Litvak was arrested last Thursday on charges of agreeing to naturalize Abramovich last year.
Naturalization applications required many documents in Portugal that prove that they are descendants of displaced Jews, and it is suspected that the chief rabbi – in the case of Abramovich and other cases – issued illegal (forged) documents of proof.
Abramovich is a Jew with Russian, Portuguese and Israeli nationalities
And Abramovich is the owner of the English club Chelsea, the European champion, and he is a Jew with Russian, Portuguese and Israeli nationalities.
It appears that the Russian war on Ukraine has put him on the spotlight in Europe, given his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to reports.
Last Thursday, England imposed sanctions on the 55-year-old billionaire over the Russian war on Ukraine.
According to the agency’s report, the investigations conducted by the Portuguese judiciary target not only the chief rabbi, but also other members of the Israeli community in Porto, including perpetrators of crimes such as exercising influence, bribery, corruption, forgery, money laundering, tax fraud and forming a criminal organization.
The Portuguese criminal police announced last January that they were investigating the matter, and the community denies the allegations.
Portugal and Spain offered the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 16th centuries the opportunity to apply for citizenship in those countries, regardless of which country they lived in.
Sephardic people do not have to give up their previous citizenship upon naturalization.
According to official information, many Russians took advantage of this distinction in many cases.