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No damage to national security? Anat Kam
No damage to national security? Anat Kam 
 
 

Attorney: Kam case threatens democracy

Journalist accused of severe espionage offences did not undermine national security in any way, her lawyer says in press conference; all news stories allegedly premised on documents stolen by Anat Kam were cleared by censor, he says

Shmulik Grossman
Latest Update: 04.08.10, 16:55 / Israel News

Accused journalist responds: None of the actions attributed to journalist Anat Kam, accused of severe espionage offences, undermined national security, her lawyer said in a press conference Thursday.

 

He added that the case against her threatens Israel's democracy and freedom of press.

 

"At no stage was any damage caused to the State of Israel's national security," attorney Eitan Lehman said. "There was certainly no intention to cause such damage."

 

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Kam, who served in the office of the former IDF Central Command chief, allegedly stole more than 2,000 classified IDF documents. At least some of them were handed over to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau, who based several news stories on them, officials say.

 

However, Kam's attorney dismissed the charges, noting that "all the documents published by (Haaretz reporter) Blau were cleared for publication by the censor."

 

"At the end of the day, we have a dangerous precedent here, whereby the handing over of material to an Israeli newspaper with the censor's approval is seen by the Prosecutor's Office as equivalent to contact with a foreign agent," Lehman said. "The very notion of presenting information to the Israeli public alone is taken as an intention to hurt national security."

 

"This very argument is dangerous to anyone who believes in Israeli democracy and in the freedom of the press," he said. "Anat is not part of an extremist political group of any kind…she's Israeli, Zionist, and objects to insubordination."

 

Attorney Lehman also noted that had the charges against his client were truly grave, law enforcement officials and the courts would not allow Kam to stay under house arrest and continue working from home, while she maintains her Internet access and talks to hundreds of people daily.

 

"I remind you that Anat had not been arrested at any point," he said.

 

The lawyer also slammed authorities for undertaking what he characterized as "several unusual acts". He claimed that at this point, three months after the indictment against Kam was served, defense lawyers had not yet received the evidence in the case.

 

First Published: 04.08.10, 16:46

 

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