The Jerusalem Police announced on Thursday it had sufficient evidence to indict
five suspects in the Hadrei Haredim website extortion affair.
suspected that, over the last two years, five managers of the haredi news site –
the director, deputy-director, two content managers and the intermediary between
the site and the victims – extorted large sums of money from businessmen,
rabbis, organizations and large companies, who paid them hundreds of thousands
The police stated that indictments could be handed down for
the extortion and attempted extortion of approximately 20 victims.
police added that, during their investigation, dozens of other victims who were
allegedly extorted and who subsequently paid hundreds of thousands of shekels,
gave testimony but refused to file official complaints due to fear of damage to
According to the police, the suspects would allegedly
extort money by promising to remove defamatory articles from the website in
return for monthly or annual payments, or the “protection” of the reputation of
victims on the site in return for monthly or annual payments. The case is being
passed to the State Attorney’s Office.
“People were worried about what
would happen. Some of the information was false, but it would still have ruined
reputations in an irreversible way,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld previously
said about the investigation.
The investigation began in March, when the
Jerusalem District Police received a complaint over alleged
The man who filed the initial complaint allegedly recorded a
phone conversation during which the directorgeneral of the website demanded a
sum of money, prompting the investigation.