anat kamm court 311.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Former soldier Anat Kamm was convicted on Sunday of possession and distribution
of secret information by the Tel Aviv District Court after she pleaded guilty to
the offenses as part of a plea bargain approved by the Attorney-General’s
In exchange for the guilty plea, the state agreed to drop the
charges in which she was accused of endangering national security.
Anat Kamm espionage trial begins in Tel Aviv
Reporter in Kamm espionage case returns to Israel
sentencing is still a few months away.
She was originally charged with
espionage with intent to harm national security, having leaked classified
information to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau in 2008. She collected the
material, reportedly 2,000 documents, of which 700 were classified as “Secret”
or “Top Secret,” while serving as assistant to the bureau chief of then-OC
Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh between 2005 and 2007.
spent the last year and a half under house arrest, refused to speak to
journalists about her expected punishment. Her lawyers, Avigdor Feldman and
Eitan Lehman, said they would push for a lenient sentence, asking the court to
take into account her young age (she is 23 years old today), the fact that she
only gave the information to a single journalist and the fact that Blau himself
has yet to be indicted for any offense.
“We will try to present the acts,
not as those of someone who intended to undermine the foundations of the state,
but as a harmless folly,” Feldman said in an interview to IDF
“Anat cooperated fully, from the moment the Shin Bet agents first
approached her,” he added. “I think the state’s lawyers made a wise decision
when they decided to remove the clauses that talked about national security and
left the issue of sentencing to the judges to determine.”
“I hope the
court will be convinced that not only did Anat not intend to harm national
security, but that no harm was actually caused, because all the information that
was eventually published received the IDF censor’s approval,” Lehman said. “We
hope the judges will determine that the year and a half under house arrest was
punishment enough and let her off with a suspended sentence or community
Prosecutor Hadas Forer-Gafni told reporters after the hearing
that the state would push for a long and significant prison sentence. “The plea
bargain is lenient compared to the original indictment, but not in its outcome.
These are two very serious offences. When an Israeli soldier removes highly
classified documents from the military, it is a severe offense in our eyes.
Passing them on to another person, even a journalist, knowing that the
information was not kept secret, is very serious,” she said.
sentence for possession and distribution of secret information is 15 years in
The court is scheduled to hear the sides’ arguments regarding
sentencing in April. Because of the nature of the documents, the hearing will
take place behind closed doors. Both sides are expected to present evidence and
expert witnesses regarding the gravity and intent behind the act. Feldman said
he had yet to decide whether to summon Blau as a character witness on Kamm’s