TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - A court in San Francisco has acquitted Canadian
night vision equipment manufacturer Newcon International Ltd. (o/a
Newcon Optik) and two of its executives of all charges against them.
Accused by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 and indicted by a
grand jury in 2007 of attempting to defraud the U.S. Army in connection
with a significant contract for the supply of night vision goggles for
the new Iraqi Army, Newcon Optik, its president and CEO Michael Beker
and former vice‐president Arie Prilik consistently maintained their
innocence and adamantly denied all allegations against them. They were
subjected to years of court proceedings at enormous personal and
"This ordeal has been traumatic for my company, my staff and my family,"
said Beker, who returned to Toronto on Friday. "But we kept the faith
and our friends and associates stood by us. I built this company from
scratch and it was very difficult to suffer through such false and
obscene accusations. It took all my strength and resolve to stand up to
the formidable and intimidating force of the United States justice
system. But I knew that I was right; I knew that I was innocent and I
am very grateful that it is over now. I am especially appreciative of
the extraordinary representation that I got from my legal team. Newcon
Optik is now working hard to preserve and enhance our reputation as a
leader in the night vision industry."
Following the court ruling, Beker was allowed to return to Canada after
having spent the last year confined to the State of California as part
of his bail terms. In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn
Hall Patel described the work of the prosecutors as "sloppy" with the
result that the defendants were subjected to "several years of criminal
proceedings notwithstanding the paucity of evidence" against them.
"This is a complete vindication of Newcon Optik" said lawyer Peter Biro,
who led and coordinated the international legal defence team and is a
partner at Toronto‐based firm WeirFoulds LLP and external general
counsel for Newcon. "We have asserted from the beginning that the
charges were groundless, and that the conduct of both Newcon and its
executives was beyond reproach. Michael Beker has endured the stigma of
false and groundless accusations of fraudulent intent; he has suffered
arrest and detention, an extradition battle, confinement to Northern
California away from his home, business, community and family, a battle
over fair disclosure, and finally a hard‐fought trial - all just to
prove that he should never have been investigated, accused, charged,
arrested, detained, extradited, or put on trial in the first place.
This is a testament to perseverance and principle. But it is also a
cautionary tale; for justice could never be taken for granted. It came
at a steep price; one that most citizens could ill afford or endure."
The team coordinated by Biro included lawyer Brian Heller of Toronto,
who handled the arrest and extradition issues; Jonathan Howden and
Martha Boersch of San Francisco, who were co‐counsel at trial, and
several other professional advisors, experts, investigators and
About Newcon International Ltd/Newcon Optik: Founded by Michael Beker in
the early 1990s and headquartered in Toronto, Newcon Optik is a leader
in the night vision industry and is a brand recognized around the world
for its superior products, which are used and relied upon by law
enforcement, search and rescue, military, camping, surveillance and
marine personnel in over 60 countries around the world. Newcon Optik
has employees and representatives worldwide and is engaged in research,
design, development and manufacturing of electro‐optical equipment such
as Image Intensifier Tubes, Night Vision devices, Laser Rangefinders,
Thermal Imagers, Image Stabilizers and other specialty optics. The
company exports 95% of its products.
SOURCE Newcon Optik
For further information:
For more information about Newcon Optik, visit newcon‐optik.com.
Contact: Peter Biro (416) 947‐5094 OR (416) 726‐7360