JERUSALEM, MAY 31 -- A private Israeli security specialist was indicted today on charges of illegally exporting military equipment to Colombia.
Retired Lt. Col. Yair Klein and his Tel Aviv-based security services firm, Spearhead Ltd., were named in the indictment returned in a magistrate's court here after a nine-month police investigation.
The charges were the first against Klein since he was linked last August to allegations of providing training in military techniques to persons hired by Colombian drug dealers. NBC News broadcast a videotape showing Klein teaching military methods to civilians at a Colombian ranch. Colombian authorities later said the civilians shown in the videotape were members of hit squads working for drug lords.
Klein could not be reached for comment today. He previously has said that, as far as he knew, the people he trained in Colombia were associated with cattle ranchers.
The indictment made no mention of Colombian drug barons, but charged Klein and Spearhead with supplying unauthorized military equipment to what it called "the Organization of Cattle Ranchers."
According to the indictment, Klein and his company provided devices to detect explosives similar to those used by airports and airlines. The charges also included supplying night-vision equipment.
The indictment also named Yitzhak Shoshani, an arms trader and Klein associate. Shoshani was charged with "negotiating the deal," a magistrate's court spokesman said. Shoshani, in an interview in London last August, acknowledged brokering the training deal for Klein.
The indictment made no reference to another incident in which Klein has figured -- the alleged diversion to Colombia of Israeli firearms that Israel says it sold to the Caribbean nation of Antigua last year.