Supreme Court to hear Kamm's sentencing appeal

Kamm appealed her four-and-a-half-year prison sentence last fall, arguing that it was too harsh.

By
July 30, 2012 11:17
2 minute read.
Anat Kamm

Anat Kamm stands inside a courtroom in Tel Aviv 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

 
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The Supreme Court on Monday is set to hear an appeal by Anat Kamm, the former IDF OC Central Command secretary convicted of serious espionage crimes, including passing of classified documents to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau.

Kamm appealed to the Supreme Court after the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison last fall, arguing that her sentence was too harsh.

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She was convicted as part of a plea bargain, under which she admitted gathering and storing classified military documents during her mandatory army service and transferring them to Blau.

Under the plea bargain, the amended indictment dropped two far more severe charges against Kamm of deliberately intending to harm state security, an offense which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The plea bargain did not include any deal over punishment, and attorneys Ilan Ronen and Yariv Bombach asked the Supreme Court to reduce Kamm's prison term to a suspended sentence or six months' community service.

When they filed the appeal last year, they also asked for the start of Kamm's sentence to be delayed pending the appeal, a request the Supreme Court rejected outright.

During Kamm's district court trial, the prosecution had requested a far harsher punishment of 15-years imprisonment, the maximum penalty for the offenses for which Kamm was convicted. However, the district court said it had taken into account the mitigating circumstances of Kamm's young age, her lack of criminal record, and that she had complied readily with the investigation including giving a full confession.

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However, district court judges also said Kamm had "cynically exploited her position" during her army service as a clerk in the office of Maj.-Gen Yair Naveh to steal 2,085 IDF documents, over 700 of which were highly classified and to transfer them to Blau.

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 used classified material from those documents as the basis for two newspaper articles, which accused senior IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officials of approving the terms of a targeted killing of a terrorist in violation of a High Court of Justice ruling. A few weeks later, another Haaretz story suggested the IDF had earmarked Palestinian terrorists for targeted killings.

Last week, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Blau of aggravated espionage (possession of classified information) after he agreed to plead guilty under the terms of a plea deal his lawyers reached with the state.

Under the terms of the deal Blau has agreed to admit to the charges in return for a four-month prison term. However, court is expected to impose that term as community service, subject to a report by the Community Service Commissioner.

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