- Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2015

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has taken no position on who owns a set of ceremonial bells worth millions of dollars at the nation’s oldest synagogue.

But he says he believes the synagogue is held in trust by the nation’s first Jewish congregation, in New York, for the benefit of the “Jewish Society of Newport.”

Testimony was given last month in a federal trial over who controls Touro Synagogue and the bells, called rimonim (rih-moh-NEEM’).

Kilmartin weighed in because he oversees charitable trusts in Rhode Island.

Both sides have said they own the bells, and they disagree over who should control the synagogue. The Newport congregation has asked the judge to remove the New York congregation as trustee. Kilmartin did not take a position on that request.

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