‘Haaretz’ reporter lands in Israel, returns stolen files

Uri Blau to be questioned under caution, faces charges of possessing secret material; lawyers sign agreement, return 1,500 army documents.

October 25, 2010 00:58
2 minute read.
'Ha'aretz' reporter Uri Blau.

uri blau 311. (photo credit: Channel 2)

Haaretz investigative reporter Uri Blau, who has been abroad since January because he was wanted by police, returned home on Sunday after his lawyers signed an agreement with the state and returned 1,500 stolen army documents, the Justice Ministry announced.

Blau received the documents, including many classified as “secret” or “top secret,” from Anat Kamm. In 2006-07, Kamm served as an aide to the head of the bureau of then-OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, where she was privy to classified information stored on the general’s computer.

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During her service, Kamm copied 2,000 documents and later gave them to Blau.

In November 2008, Blau reported that senior IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officials had approved the terms of a targeted killing of a terrorist in violation of a landmark ruling by the High Court of Justice.

Blau had received from Kamm a copy of the targetedkilling order; a photocopy was published by Haaretz.

Shin Bet agents questioned Blau about how he had come into possession of the document and demanded that he return all the stolen documents.

Blau returned 500 documents and said that was all he had. He refused to divulge who had given him the documents.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet tracked down Kamm and arrested her. She admitted that she had stolen the documents and handed over her computer and a disc onto which she had copied them.

She also told police that she had given Blau copies of the 2,000 documents she had stolen.

The Shin Bet then returned to Blau, accused him of lying to them by saying he had returned all the documents in his possession, and demanded the return of the other 1,500.

The negotiations over the return of the documents broke down.

According to Blau’s lawyers, Mibi Mozer and Tali Lieblich, the Shin Bet demanded that Blau also hand over the entire archive he had created up from the beginning of his career as a journalist.

Meanwhile, Blau went on vacation. He was advised by his newspaper not to come home while the negotiations with his lawyers were taking place.

According to Sunday’s Justice Ministry announcement, Blau returned more than 1,500 documents that he had received from Kamm. Hundreds of them were classified as “secret or top secret.”

Blau also promised that within 48 hours of his arrival in Israel, he would present himself to police and be questioned under caution. Blau agreed to be interrogated jointly by police and the Shin Bet and declared that not a single document remained in his possession in any form. He also gave his consent to undergo a polygraph test if the authorities ordered one.

The ministry said Blau could be charged with being in possession of the secret material and that if he were, he would first be granted a hearing before Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.

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