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(photo credit: Channel 2)
Haaretz reporter Uri Blau will return the documents he received from Anat Kamm now that she has waived her right to professional immunity, his lawyer, Tali Lieblich, said Monday.
“Since Anat Kamm announced that she has waived her immunity and asks that the documents be returned, that paves the way for their return,” Lieblich told Channel 10.
According to the state, Kamm handed over hundreds of documents to Blau from among the more than 2,000 that she collected and stole from the bureau of the OC Central Command.
According to one of Kamm’s lawyers, Avigdor Feldman, he and his partner in the case, Eitan Lehman, may meet on Tuesday with Lieblich and attorney Mibi Mozer, who also represents Blau, to discuss the return of the documents.
Meanwhile, the president of the Press Council, retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, called on Blau to immediately return the documents he received from Kamm after she waived her immunity. At the same time, she urged the authorities not to arrest Blau if he, indeed, returned them.
Lieblich’s announcement was good news for Feldman and Lehman. Feldman told The Jerusalem Post
that Kamm’s consent to waive her immunity was part of her efforts to fully cooperate with the authorities and do everything she could to retrieve the documents.
“It is a positive step, what in politics one would call a ‘confidence-building measure,’” he said.
After her arrest, Kamm admitted that she had stolen the documents and handed over some of them to Blau. She also handed over her computer and the disk onto which she had copied the IDF documents.
Feldman said the first goal of the defense was to have the documents returned by Blau. Now that that appears to have been accomplished, he and Lehman will demand a hearing before Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. He said he had insisted that Weinstein grant the hearing rather than the Central District attorney, who is the one who filed the indictment against her.
Feldman said he would not insist that the current indictment be scrapped before the hearing. He said he hoped to convince the attorney-general that the charges filed against Kamm were “vastly exaggerated.”
Kamm has been charged on two counts of aggravated espionage with intent to harm state security – one for handing over classified material, an act which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a second for collecting and possessing classified material, an act that carries a maximum 15-year sentence.
Earlier in the day, before Lieblich’s announcement, Dorner said she was worried about “the possible consequences of the leak of documents from [the office of the] OC Central Command to Haaretz
In a written statement, she urged “all the parties involved not to
allow this episode to damage the established foundations of the work of
journalists in Israel.”
In addition to urging Blau to return
the documents in his possession immediately, she also called on the
state not to arrest him once he did.
“The arrest of a
journalist for having received documents from a source, in the context
of his work, could intimidate the Israeli press, cause harm to an
important tool in the work of the journalist and cause serious damage
to Israel’s image as a country in which freedom of expression and the
press are guiding lights,” Dorner said.
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