Jerusalem: An Israeli woman, who is
accused of leaking "highly classified" military documents,
went on trial on Monday, facing prospects of life imprisonment.
23-year-old Anat Kam, a former Israel Defence Forces
(IDF) soldier, has been charged with "serious espionage" for
allegedly leaking "highly classified" documents to a local
reporter that caused deep embarrassment to the Army.
The issue also caused a stir in the Israeli media,
with a heated debate on the freedom of press in the country.
Kam is accused of appropriating 2,000 documents, 700
of which were classified as "top secret" while serving in the
military in 2007 and transferring it to a local journalist who
later published some damning reports.
She is charged with two counts of aggravated espionage
-- delivering secret information with the intent to damage
state security, punishable by a life sentence, and gathering
and retaining classified information with the intention of
damaging state security, punishable by up to 15 years in
Arriving at the Tel Aviv District Court, the former
soldier said she was happy to finally leave her home after
five months under house arrest.
The affair began following a Ha`aretz report published
by Uri Blau in November 2008, which discussed assassinations
of Palestinians by the?Israeli army.
According to the articles, the army`s senior ranks,
including the Chief of Staff, approved hurting innocent people
as part of `targeted assassinations`.
Kam was arrested by Israel`s internal security
services, Shin Bet, in December 2009, almost a year after the
publication, following an investigation sanctioned by the
military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and then Attorney
General Menachem Mazuz.
The leak "posed a direct and real threat to the lives
of IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens," the head of the Shin
Bet internal intelligence service, Yuval Diskin, told editors
last month when a gag order on the case was lifted.
"If these documents, even part of them, reach enemy
hands or foreign intelligence agencies, this could cause
serious, ongoing security damage and danger to IDF soldiers
and Israeli citizens," he claimed.
Kam said her actions were ideologically motivated and
that she wanted to publicise the military`s policies in the
"She was promised that no trial would be held against
her if she presented all of the materials [to investigators],"
her attorney Avigdor Feldman said, adding "this promise was