An appeal filed by convicted spy Anat Kam against the Israel Prison Service was accepted by the Central Administrative Court on Monday. Kam claimed that the IPS' computer system wrongly listed her as serving time for espionage and treason. The court accepted Kam's appeal and ordered that her profile on the IPS' computer system be altered. The court also ruled that the State must pay Kam NIS 2,000 (roughly $524) to cover her legal fees.
Former IDF soldier Anat Kam, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for illegally possessing classified IDF documents and passing them on to a reporter without authorization.
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When Kam first entered Neve Tirza Prison she noticed her conviction was defined by the IPS' computer system as espionage and treason, though she was convicted only of espionage. Kam contacted the prison's administration and requested that the definition be corrected, but was refused. The prison claimed it was a fixed definition of the computer system which could not be altered.
As a result, Kam appealed to the Central Administrative Court, requesting the court to order the IPS to correct the registration on its computers. Kam claimed the incorrect definition is causing her great distress and she fears she will be treated badly as a result.
Anat Kam in court (Archive Photo:Gil Yohanan)
The IPS responded to Kam's appeal by saying that the listings of espionage and treason were unified on the computer systems for technical reasons, as it is an outdated system about to be replaced soon. Furthermore, the IPS claimed the definition is correct and Kam's rights will be protected in any case.
The judge stated that "The IPS' reply clearly indicated the prison was aware of the mistake and that it agreed it should be corrected, and therefore reflects the importance of the definitions of the crime Kam was convicted of. It is apparent the correction was done as a result of the appeal, rendering it justified."
Nevertheless, the judge rejected Kam's claims of distress as a result of the erroneous definition.
Attorney Ilan Bombach, who represented Kam, said: "I'm glad the court determined for the first time that justified prisoners' appeals should include legal fees to be paid for by IPS. I hope the court will award a more realistic sum in the future."
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