Israeli soldier indicted for stealing top secret on Iran

A female Israel soldier has been indicted for removing a disk containing `Top Secret` documents, including some linked to Iran`s nuclear programme, from the offices of the National Security Council.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2010, 21:39 PM IST

Jerusalem: A female Israel soldier has
been indicted for removing a disk containing `Top Secret`
documents, including some linked to Iran`s nuclear programme,
from the offices of the National Security Council.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier was charged
with "endangering the security of the state" by taking away
the disk from the NSC offices a few months ago, a media report
here said.

The young woman was visiting the NSC offices with a
number of other soldiers for maintenance work.

The soldier was immediately detained for questioning
and her personal computer and cellular phone, where the
information was stored, were confiscated at the instructions
of the Prime Minister`s office the moment the transgression
was discovered, news portal Ynetnews reported.

The soldier`s trial is expected to begin in the near
future.

The NSC operates under the Prime Minister`s Office,
and is tasked with advising the premier and government
ministers on national security issues.

In the incident that took place few months ago, the
soldier has argued that she had taken the disk in order to
give it to her commander because she believed that keeping
confidential material on a memory stick in such a manner
constituted `neglect`.

Her attorney says she did not intend to do any harm,
the news portal reported.

The military prosecution, however, did not accept this
explanation and decided to indict her on charges that carry a
sentence of up to five years in prison.

There is no evidence so far that the soldier copied
any of the material, the report said.

The soldier is performing mandatory army service with
a team that maintains encoded communication networks.

The female soldier found the disk on key during her
visit, placed it in her bag, and traveled from central Israel
to her home in the south, the prosecution said.

"The exposure of these documents to an unaccredited
source could cause severe and ongoing damage to the state`s
security," the indictment says.

Some 600 documents were stored on the device, many of
them labeled `Top Secret`.

PTI