The investigation into the Trojan Horse industrial espionage affair continues to widen following indictments of private investigators. On Friday, a London court approved the extradition of Michael Haephrati (44) and Ruth Brier-Haephrati (28), arrested in May in London at the request of Israel Police on charges of industrial espionage in Israel.
Michael Haephrati is suspected of designing software enabling many companies, through private investigative agencies, to hack into the computers of their competitors.
A British judge ruled that there was prima facie evidence that the couple received payment from Israeli private investigative agencies. UK Home Secretary Charles Clark must now decide whether to extradite the Haephratis to Israel. Under British law, the Home Secretary has 60 days to decide.
On August 19, the Haephratis’ attorney said that they did not design the software with criminal intent. He added that Ruth Brier-Haephrati was the person in contact with the Israeli private investigative agencies.
“Bloomberg” reports that the Haephratis face eight counts in Israel, six of which carry the maximum punishment of five years in prison, and two of which carry the maximum punishment of two years.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on August 28, 2005