The State Prosecutor's Office notified the Haifa District Court on Monday that it was withdrawing evidence from a double murder case before it, because the same evidence was obtained in the police investigation illegally. This is evidence obtained through the use of a means of wiretapping communications between computers (spyware), in violation of a court order. This is actually the first time that the police have made use of information that goes beyond the exposure of the NSO affair, and not just extracted it.
This is information that Israel Hayom demanded from the State Attorney's Office in its Freedom of Information petition against the Justice Ministry.
The State Prosecutor's Office said that "the police's deviation from the order was discovered recently, by the way the State Attorney's Office handled a murder case that is being conducted in court. In an examination initiated by the State Prosecutor's Office, it turned out that for the first time since the series of publications about the use of spyware by the Israel Police, and since the Israel Police began examining the work of the spyware in relation to the operation of the spyware, it was discovered that as part of the operation of the spyware, evidentiary use was made of information that deviates from the wiretapping order for communications between computers.
"An in-depth investigation conducted by the director of the Cyber Department in the State Attorney's Office revealed that in the circumstances of the case, a means of wiretapping communications between computers was installed on the end device of one of the suspects in the case, against whom no indictment was filed. The same means carried out activities amounting to a covert search (copying information stored on the device), in addition to activities amounting to wiretapping.
"The information collected by way of an undercover search went beyond the scope of the wiretapping order, and its findings were passed on to other police officials. On the basis of this deviating information, a judicial order was requested and received, which authorized the police to carry out an additional investigative action that yielded evidentiary results. The same products were inserted into the investigation file, hurled at the interrogees in the case and even submitted to the court as exhibited. The results of the examination were forwarded to the State Prosecutor, Amit Isman, who ordered the immediate withdrawal of the evidence obtained, and the defense and the court of the defect in obtaining the evidence.
"It should be noted that so far, since February 2022, the State Prosecutor's Office has examined 27 cases in which wiretapping devices were used for communication between computers, including penetration of end devices. So far, in-depth examinations of the files have revealed that even though the spyware collected excess information that exceeded the permissible scope of wiretapping, no evidentiary or intelligence use was made of the information that exceeded the permissible limits. This is the first case in which evidentiary use of unlawfully collected excess information in the use of spyware has been revealed."
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