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The cost of the trial of two former AIPAC lobbyists accused of disclosing confidential information to Israel is estimated at $4 million, sources close to the defense have told Haaretz.

Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman are accused of receiving classified information from former Pentagon analyst Larry A. Franklin and later transferring it to journalists and to Israeli officials.

The ir trial is expected to begin in April 2006.

AIPAC has offered the two ex-lobbyists $1.6 million for their defense fees, but according to the sources, it wanted to free itself of any legal obligations toward the two, who were fired following the affair.

Rosen and Weissman rejected the offer, which they thought, will not cover the expenses of the trial. Sources familiar with AIPAC claimed earlier this week, that the offer was rejected because of the intent of the two to sue more money after the trial is over.

Rosen was a top lobbyist for Washington-based AIPAC for more than 20 years, and Weissman was the organization's top Iran expert.. Last week, former Pentagon analyst Larry A. Franklin was sentenced Friday to 12 years and seven months in jail for passing classified information to Rosen and Weissman.

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