High Court returns senior editors of haredi newspaper to custody

The High Court of Appeals rules that heads of Hapeles newspaper accused of harassing senior businessmen should return to custody.

Michal Levy ,

Hapeles arrests
Hapeles arrests
Israeli police

The High Court has ruled that the senior editors of the Hapeles newspaper, Nati Grossman and Shmuel Elyashiv, should be returned to custody, after they were released to house arrest by the District Court.

Originally the two were remanded in custody for 7 days but their appeal was accepted by the District Court. Police appealed to the High Court which ruled that they should stay in custody.

Attorney Yair Golan, Grossman's attorney, had claimed that his release would not lead to disruption of legal procedures and therefore he should be released. However the High Court accepted a police appeal and ordered their return to custody until Friday.

Last week 28 members of the Jerusalem Faction from all over the country were arrested on suspicion of allegedly attempted to extort businesses, harassing and threatening company officials with ultimatums to advertise in Hapeles. The suspects warned that the failure to do so would be seen as an insult to a large segment of the haredi population and would have serious consequences. The harassment of the targeted officials was reportedly ongoing on a daily basis.

The investigation began when tens of complaints were filed by senior members of large firms around the country including government firms, claiming harassment and threats over the phone, in e-mails and faxes by Hapeles officials.