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In the biggest tax raid in Israel's history, dozens of inspectors yesterday invaded the Jerusalem offices of News Datacom Research, a company wholly owned by Rupert Murdoch, on suspicion of massive tax evasion. A Jerusalem magistrate issued a warrant to question the Australian media magnate if he comes to Israel. The inspectors seized documents and are examining records with the company's lawyers and accountants.

The managing director, Abraham Peled, and a leading computer expert, Professor Adi Shamir, were among businessmen and academics held for questioning yesterday. A tax authority spokeswoman said News Datacom, which conducts research and development into encryption devices for pay television and data distribution systems, was being investigated for tax evasion and helping others to evade taxes over a seven-year period.

Israel Radio reported that a sum of half a billion shekels (about pounds 100m) was involved. News Datacom vigorously denied the charges. A statement blamed the company's troubles on "an extortion campaign by former employees who have been sued in the UK for defrauding it of millions of dollars". Eric Silver, Jerusalem