Ex-soldier jailed for leaking secrets sues newspaper

Ex-soldier jailed for leaking secrets sues newspaper

Anat Kamm seeks NIS 2.6 million in compensation from Haaretz, claiming it didn’t do enough to protect her identity

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Anat Kamm sits in the Tel Aviv District court on April 12, 2011. (photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Anat Kamm sits in the Tel Aviv District court on April 12, 2011. (photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

A former soldier, jailed for leaking classified military documents obtained during her IDF service that were then published by Haaretz, filed for damages on Thursday from the newspaper for not protecting her identity.

Anat Kamm, who is serving out a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, is claiming NIS 2.6 million ($700,000) in damages from the daily; from journalist Uri Blau, who wrote the articles that made use of her information; and from the former head of the Haaretz news department, Avi Zilberberg.

The claim, filed at the Tel Aviv Regional Court by Kamm’s lawyer Ilan Bombach, revolves around the relationship between her and Blau. In 2006, while serving as an assistant in the office of Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh — then commander of the army’s Central Command — Kamm made copies of thousands of documents from his office, including some that referred to targeted assassinations. After she was discharged from the army she passed the documents on to Blau, who published them in a series of articles in 2008.

Kamm claims that when she handed over a compact disc containing the documents, she demanded that Blau never reveal her identity as the source of the material.

In her claim against the paper Kamm argues that, by printing copies of the original documents that showed they came from Central Command, Haaretz did not do enough to protect her identity from being revealed and that she then suffered the consequences.

In a December 2012 letter to Haaretz, Bombach wrote that his client’s career as a journalist, her university studies and her life were ruined when she was investigated, charged and ultimately jailed.

“Not only was my client arrested, but her life was arrested too,” Bombach wrote.

Haaretz’s legal representatives, Mibi Moser and Tal Lieblich, responded to the letter by saying that, at first glance, there seemed to be no basis for the claim for damages.

After the articles were published, Blau was questioned by security services and eventually agreed to relinquish the documents. However, his articles also led the investigators to Kamm, who was arrested and put on trial. In October 2011, she was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison and 18 months’ probation. In December 2012, the Supreme Court reduced Kamm’s jail term by 12 months.

For his role in the saga, Blau was sentenced to four months’ community service as part of a plea bargain in which he admitted holding secret documents.

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