Israel Police say they now have enough evidence to prosecute the director-general of the Behadrei Haredim news website, his deputy, and three other employees for extortion, and have turned their findings over to prosecutors.
Indict Haredi Website Execs For Extortion, Police Say
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Police say they now have enough evidence to prosecute the director-general of the Behadrei Haredim website, his deputy, and three other employees for extortion, and have turned their findings over to prosecutors, the Jerusalem Post reports.
During the past two years, the five suspects – all members of the haredi news website’s staff – allegedly extorted large amounts of money from haredi businesspeople, haredi rabbis, haredi organizations and large companies (not all haredi-owned), who paid the five not to publish damaging stories or to remove damaging stories from the site that had already published.
“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 said shortly after the men were first arrested more than three months ago.
The police investigation began four months ago after Jerusalem police received a complaint about the alleged extortion from a victim who allegedly recorded Beharei Haredim’s director-general extorting him.
The website was founded by haredim and is still staffed by them. But it was sold to a secular owner before the alleged extortions began.
It is believed that all of those arrested are haredim, except for the website’s director-general.