Trojan horse inventors remanded

Program inventors extradited to Israel from the UK; decide not to appeal.

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
January 31, 2006 20:14
1 minute read.

Michael and Ruth Haephrati, the couple who allegedly developed the Trojan horse industrial espionage software, were remanded in custody for 10 days by Tel Aviv Magistrates Court on Tuesday. The Haephratis landed in Israel on Monday night after being extradited from the UK following their decision earlier this month not to appeal against their expatriation. Defense lawyer Eli Zohar said the couple want to complete unfinished business. "The way to solve their problems was to come to Israel," he said in an interview. However, he declined to comment on reports that the couple have agreed to a plea bargain whereby they will name the companies who bought their Trojan horse in return for a lighter sentence. Zohar did confirm, though, that Ruth Haephrati was attacked by a fellow prisoner but that the judge had ordered the two inmates to be separated and the incident investigated. The Haephratis left Israel several years ago and have been living in Britain and Germany ever since. At Israel's request, British police arrested the couple in May 2005, a few days before their Israeli counterparts released details of the affair to the media. The investigation had begun six months earlier, when police started investigating complaints from Israeli novelist Amnon Jacont that excerpts of a novel he was working on mysteriously appeared on the Internet without his consent. Jacont led police to his former son-in-law Michael Haefrati, who allegedly sold the Trojan horse to three private investigation companies in Israel - Modi'in Ezrahi, Zvi Krochmal and Philosof-Balali. They are believed to have used the software to spy on their clients' rivals by installing it into the computer systems of those rivals. Companies suspected of using the Trojan horse include Volvo and Honda importer Meir Motors, who allegedly used it against Volkswagen agent Champion Motors. In addition, water retailer Tami-4 is suspected of spying on Mei Eden, Amdocs on a reporter from the Globes newspaper, Bezeq International on Golden Lines, and Home Center on Ace Hardware. Several of the suspects in the case are standing trial in Tel Aviv District Court.


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