Israel convicts reporter over army papers

2012-07-24 15:03

Tel Aviv - Uri Blau, a reporter with Israel's Haaretz newspaper, was convicted on Tuesday under a plea bargain of possessing classified military documents, an AFP correspondent said.

Blau was convicted at Tel Aviv District Court for possessing secret army papers that he received from a former soldier who was subsequently jailed on charges of spying.

As part of the plea bargain, which was agreed with the State Prosecutor's office on 5 July, Blau agreed to admit to the charge of possessing secret information without intending to harm state security.

Sentencing will not take place until September.

"This is a precedent-setting prosecution of a journalist for doing his job," Jack Hen, one of his legal representatives told the paper's website, saying Blau should not have been indicted and that all of his reports had been approved by the military censor.

Ideologically motivated

"According to it, the public's right to know and freedom of the press were seriously damaged by the decision to put a journalist on trial for these reasons."

Court documents showed that former soldier Anat Kam handed about 1 800 documents to Blau who used some of them as the source for an article in 2008 which said troops had been ordered to carry out targeted killings of Palestinian militants in violation of a Supreme Court order.

Blau later handed over all the classified documents in his possession to the security establishment.

Kam was sentenced to four and a half years in jail in October 2011 after pleading guilty to leaking the documents.

She has said her actions were ideologically motivated and that she wanted to expose the army's policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.

  • ivan.schoultz - 2012-07-24 15:52

    Convicted for telling the truth about murder, but nothing for the murderers and the those that ordered them ... hmmm, something's wrong with this form of justice.

  • philip.vde - 2012-07-24 16:45

    Israel is worse than America , they keep going on what was done to them during the Holocaust ... what are they doing different against the Palestinians ????

      boos.koos - 2012-07-24 20:16

      Philip: Do your research first BEFORE posting and making an @ss of yourself. P.S: Jihadist propaganda isn't considred research material.

  • Linds - 2012-07-25 08:55

    Is Israel not illegally occupying Palestinian land? Is Israel not continuing to build illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land against UN resolutions and even against their own supreme court ruling? Do Palestinian people (born and bred in Jerusalem before 1948) have the same rights as Jewish people? Do Palestinians not have the right to defend themselves and their land from the Zionists? Do Palestinians enjoy free movement in their own neighbourhoods? Does Israel not illegally hold back duties (millions of dollars) that are due to the Palestinian Authority in order to strangle them financially? Does Israel not preach democracy but then immediately change their stance when the Palestinian people democratically elect Hamas (in a free and open election)? Has Israel kept within its original 1948 boarders or have they continued to move them illegally? Does international law not criminalise the capture of neighbouring country’s land even if that country was the aggressor in the war?

      Linds - 2012-07-25 12:39

      @ Adam, just answer those questions Yes or No.

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