Journalist Uri Blau is set to be charged with unauthorized possession of confidential information over documents he received from Anat Kam, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced Wednesday.
In a statement, Weinstein said he had decided to reject Blau's arguments after careful consideration. The statement further said that Blau is in effect charged with unauthorized possession of confidential information despite the fact that the offence is listed under serious espionage. Blau is therefore not accused of espionage in the traditional sense.
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The attorney general explained that the State Prosecutor's Office as well as the Shin Bet and the police found the case to be highly serious in terms of Blau's conduct and that it merited an indictment. "The potential for damage in the unprotected possession of the documents was enormous," the statement said.
Some two months ago, the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's Office said it was withdrawing its agreement with the journalist. It claimed that Blau had falsely made it appear as though he returned all of the classified documents that had been in his possession. Blau had previously handed over some 50 documents he had received from Anat Kam to the Shin Bet.
Uri Blau. 'Broke agreement with State'
The prosecution further stated that the State had provided Blau with the necessary sum needed for a new computer after it had destroyed his PC. "Blau had blatantly broken the agreement signed with him, allegedly lied to investigators and handed over only a small part of the stolen military information he had obtained.
Blau, a journalist with Haaretz, returned to Israel after a long period abroad following an agreement with the State Prosecutor's Office. He said he had turned over all of the documents he received from Kam to the State and had pledged to forward any secret document he had otherwise obtained over the years.
According to the agreement, the authorities would shred the documents without checking the source. Blau also committed to being investigated by the Shin Bet and police and declared he was no longer in possession of any of the documents. As part of the agreement the journalist also pledged to undergo a lie detector test.
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