The Supreme Court on Monday decided to reduce the sentence of a former IDF soldier who brought about the army's biggest leak scandal.
The court granted an appeal filed by Anat Kam over the severity of her punishment, cutting her four-and-a-half-year sentence by one year.
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Kam was convicted of possessing and leaking confidential IDF documents during her army service and has been serving her sentence since November 2011. She is now expected to go free by February 2014.
Kam at court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Kam asked the court to allow her to miss Monday's hearing, but her request was denied.
Justices Hanan Melcer and Edna Arbel voted in favor of reducing the penalty, while Noam Solberg voted against it.
Arbel said that while Kam's actions warrant a severe sentence, the original penalty failed to reflect the circumstances in the case. The judge noted that the young woman admitted to the crime, cooperated with the investigation, spent a considerable period of time under house arrest and is unlikely to make repeat violations.
'Sentence still severe'
The inmate's attorney, Ilan Bombach, argued at a past hearing that there is an "immense and inconceivable gap" between the sentence she received and punishments regularly doled out for similar violations.
By contrast, Uri Blau, the journalist on the receiving end of the leak, was sentenced to four months of community service. Blau confessed to possessing classified information without intent to compromise state security as part of a plea bargain.
Rachel Matar, an attorney with the prosecution, said following Monday's hearing that Kam's sentence remains severe despite the ruling.
Appeal granted. Kam at court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"We thought about appealing but decided against it in light of the punishment imposed on Blau," she added.
Bombach appeared to be content with the ruling.
"The sentence is still more severe than Blau's but the Supreme Court rarely intervenes in district court sentencing, so we're pleased," he said.
According to Bombach, Kam is studying history at the Open University and is doing well.
Kam was indicted for handing Blau some or all of more than 2,000 classified army documents she had stolen while serving in the office of former Central Command chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh.
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