Anat Kamm petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday over a bill proposing
more lenient sentences for transferring confidential information without intent
to harm state security. The former IDF Central Command headquarters secretary
sentenced is serving fourand- a-half years in prison for serious espionage
crimes, The “Anat Kamm Bill” would set a maximum 10- year prison sentence for
holding and transfering confidential information without intent to harm state
It was submitted by MK Othniel Schneller (Kadima) and passed
the first of three required readings in the Knesset on January
Currently, the crime of passing secret information is included under
Article 13 of the Penal Code, under which Kamm was convicted. That article deals
with aggravated espionage, and is punishable by a maximum 15 years in
Kamm’s petition, filed on her behalf by her defense lawyer,
attorney Ilan Bombach, names Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee
chairman David Rotem and Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, and argues that both are
discriminating against her by delaying the second and third readings of the
bill, which if passed could reduce her sentence.
Kamm, now aged 24, was
convicted in February 2011 under a plea bargain under which she pleaded guilty
to gathering and storing classified military documents during her mandatory army
service and transferring them to Uri Blau, a political affairs reporter for
However, the amended indictment dropped two far more severe
charges of deliberately intending to harm state security, an offense that
carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. On November 23, Kamm arrived at
Neveh Tirza Women’s Prison in Ramle to begin serving her sentence Kamm is
appealing her sentence in the Supreme Court, and a hearing is set for July
According to Kamm’s petition, in essence, the bill seeks to revoke
Article 13 of the Penal Code, under which Kamm was convicted, and replace it
with a new provision titled “Disclosing Secret Information,” which will incur a
penalty of 10 years in prison.
“At the end of the day, the bill will
remove the stigma of ‘espionage’ offenses, such as those for which [Kamm] was
convicted,” the petition reads.
“Anat Kamm, who committed a serious crime
against the State of Israel, cannot expect that MKs who believe that loyalty
must be tied to citizenship will help promote a bill that can alleviate her
punishment,” Rotem said.
Chairmen determine their committees’ schedule
and agenda. As such Rotem has been able to delay the debate on the Kamm
He said he decides which bills to discuss in his committee “in
order of importance, according to my judgment, and that is how the agenda will
continue to be set in the future.”
If the High Court forces him to debate
the bill, the Israel Beiteinu MK added, he will make sure that there is a
majority opposing the bill in the committee.
According to Schneller,
Kamm’s petition shows that she still does not understand “the severity of her
She should have received a seven-year prison sentence for her
crimes, instead of four years, he added, and the State Attorney’s Office should
appeal her “lenient punishment.”
In previous testimony before the court,
Kamm admitted collecting electronic copies of classified documents shortly
before the end of her army service in 2007.
She then transferred the
files to two CD-ROMS and copied them to her home computer.
the CDs contained 2,085 files, including 700 classified as secret or top
In September 2008, after her discharge from the army, Kamm
intended to give the files to Yediot Aharonot journalist Yossi Yehoshua, but
when that failed, she handed a disk containing 1,500 documents, 150 of them
highly classified and 330 classified, to Blau.
The Haaretz reporter, whom
Kamm did not know personally, made used of classified material from those
documents as the basis for two newspaper articles.
In December 2009,
after Haaretz published those articles, Kamm was interrogated by the Shin Bet
(Israel Security Service) and confessed to handing over the documents to
In the first Haaretz article, published in October 2008, Blau
accused the IDF of defying a High Court ruling against the targeted killings of
Palestinian terrorists who could have been captured alive. The next article,
published a few weeks later, similarly intimated that the IDF had earmarked
Palestinian terrorists for targeted killings.
In November 2008, Blau
reported that senior IDF and Shin Bet officials had approved the terms of a
targeted killing of a terrorist in violation of a landmark ruling by the High
Blau had received from Kamm a copy of the targeted killing order; a
photocopy was published by Haaretz.