Sergeant Major Louis Balut, convicted of spying for Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, will spend 11 years in jail, an IDF Military court ruled on Thursday evening.
Balut, the first Christian tracker in the IDF, was convicted of giving sensitive military information to Hizbullah and of holding contacts with a foreign agent between December 2007 and February 2008.
The thirty-five year old father of three from Fassuta in the northern Galilee was not convicted on counts of treason and aiding the enemy in wartime, which appeared in the original indictment and for which he would have received far more serious punishment.
Balut was convicted of giving the sensitive information to Hizbullah as part of a drug deal with three Lebanese people associated with the Islamist group. The court also ordered that Balut be expelled from the IDF.
The indictment against Balut, who served in the IDF for over 16 years, was presented in March 2008.
The indictment, filed by the Military Prosecutor's Office, stated that Balut was actually an Israeli agent who worked under Unit 504 of Military Intelligence, which is responsible for activating agents in enemy countries.
According to the indictment, Balut had cell phone conversations with two Lebanese civilians who were Hizbullah members. The prosecution claimed Balut gave Hizbullah information regarding positions of IDF units and data on supplies, provisions, equipment, preparations and military orders.
Sources close to the case confirmed that Balut worked at one point for MI or the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) as an agent. In the indictment, Balut was also charged with sending additional information to a Nazareth resident expected to be tried on charges of smuggling drugs from Lebanon.
According to the indictment, Balut also made contact with Lebanese citizens and residents of Ghajar, on the Israeli-Lebanese border, and residents of Nazareth to import and export dangerous drugs.
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