News

January 20, 2006

Trojan Horse developers to be extradited to Israel soon

Filed under: Uncategorized — enews @ 3:21 pm

Arrested in the UK in May 2005, Michael Haephrati and Ruth Brier-Haephrati withdrew their appeal against extradition.

Noam Sharvit 17 Jan 06 14:23

Michael Haephrati and his wife Ruth Brier-Haephrati, who developed a Trojan Horse program used for industrial espionage in Israel, will be extradited from the UK to Israel shortly. An appeals court in London approved the extradition last Friday, after the couple withdrew their appeal.
Michael Haephrati (44) and Ruth Brier-Haephrati (28) are wanted in Israel for their involvement in the Trojan Horse affair last year, involving the illegal hacking into scores of computers in Israel, including computers belonging to large and leading companies. From their residences in the UK and Germany, the couple are suspected of developing spyware that extracted computer files and entire directories from infected computers. This material was then sent to servers in Israel and other countries. The couple sold the spyware to private investigators, which offered their industrial espionage services to various companies, after the spyware was customized to their needs.

The Haephratis were arrested in the UK in late May 2005, and Israel applied for their extradition in July. Two months later, a magistrates court in London ruled that they were extraditable, and the British Home Secretary signed an extradition order. The Haephratis have now withdrawn their appeal against the extradition.

The Tel Aviv District Court is still hearing the case against some of Israel’s largest private investigator agencies, including Modiin Ezrachi Ltd., Zvi Krochmal Investigations, Pelosoff-Balali, and Target – Detective Work, Information & Investigations. However, prosecutors are struggling to indict the companies that ordered the business information, due to the legal difficulties in proving that they knew that the information was obtained by illegal means.

The Ministry of Justice places great importance on extraditing the Haephratis, in order to combat computer and Internet crime. The ministry says that their extradition to Israel, even though all their criminal acts were allegedly carried out in Europe, underscores the fact that computer crime is international in scope, crossing borders.

The Ministry of Justice stresses that cross-border crime in an era when acts committed in one country constitute crimes in another can only be fought against by effective international cooperation.

Sources inform ”Globes” that Adv. Eli Zohar, Adv. Eitan Maoz, and Adv. Zvi Bar-Nathan of the M. Seligman & Co. law firm, which represents the Haephratis, have been in advanced negotiations with prosecutors for a long time in an attempt to reach a plea bargain. The law firm said, “The couple forewent their appeal against their extradition, for personal and legal reasons, and in consideration of negotiations with the prosecutor’s office.?

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – http://www.globes.co.il – on January 17, 2006

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