The mayor of Tiberias, in Israel, will be prosecuted for hacking into the emails of the city’s finance officer following criticism of his conduct.
Mayor Zohar Oved, who appears to have attended the Richard Nixon school of democratic rulership , was convicted of ordering his computer firm owner pal Avner Sharon to hack into municipal servers and steal info about the investigation on himself by the city comptroller.
According to Haaretz to the Prosecutor’s Office said that “the copying was done so that the mayor could search for topics relating to him that the city comptroller was investigating”.
This meant included copying material from three servers, including the municipal server, and hacking into private emails of Benny Eliahu, the man investigating the dastardly mayor.
In his defence Oved had claimed that he had acted “in accordance with continuous legal advice”, stopping just of pointing his finger at the press, wobbling his jowls and blurting out “I’m not a crook”.
Apparently some of the material found in the snooping was then used in disciplinary action against the comptroller Eliahu, who was convicted in 2005 of the rather mundane misdemeanour of misreporting his hours worked, as well as improperly handing evidence to a journo.
Subsequently Eliahu to the case to the Petah Tikva District Court where he was acquitted of all charges, given “protected whistle-blower” status, saved from losing his job and even handed a wad of cash for his troubles.
So not a bad result there.
Then in response to mayor Oved’s extracurricular activities Judge Noga Ohad, declared that copying the personal email mailbox of the appellant constitutes an invasion of privacy. This is equivalent to searching through his intimate personal effects or through a drawer in his office that contains personal items.
The judge also compared the crime to wire tapping, meaning now that he looks to be out of a job at least Oved could always apply for a job at the News of the World once this all blows over.
Oved will now be prosecuted for conspiring to commit a crime, infiltrating a computer system and invasion of privacy, the State Prosecutor’s Office stated.
Normally we expect people to resign at moments like this. But Oved has never been a quitter, and to leave office before his term is up is repugnant to every bone in his body.