Anat Kamm
Anat Kamm at the Tel Aviv District Court, Oct. 30, 2011. Photo by Motti Milrod
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Anat Kamm, who as an Israel Defense Forces soldier gathered, held and passed on classified information without authorization, was sentenced to four-and-half years in prison and a three-year suspended sentence yesterday by the Tel Aviv District Court.

In February, Kamm pleaded guilty to the above charges in a plea agreement, after the charges were reduced from treason and espionage. The maximum sentence for her crimes was 15 years' imprisonment.

"The systematic way in which she operated points to planning and awareness of her actions, which were goal-directed. She devoted time, planning and preparation to these actions, and even used the services of others to bring things to fruition," the judges wrote in their ruling.

"During this long, ongoing process ... there were innumerable opportunities for her to change her mind and stop what she was doing, but the accused elected not to do so," the judges concluded.

During her army service in the bureau of the Central Command commander, Kamm regularly saved copies of documents and slide presentations in a special folder and just before her discharge, copied them onto two CDs. The documents included plans for military operations, information on troop deployments, summaries of various internal discussions, military targets and intelligence assessments. Of the 2,085 documents she copied, some 700 were classified as "Secret" or "Top Secret."

In September 2008, Kamm met with Haaretz journalist Uri Blau, and gave him a disk-on-key on which she had copied 1,500 documents, of which 150 were classified "Top Secret" and 330 were "Secret."

Blau later wrote several articles based on the documents Kamm had given him. While the articles were submitted to and passed military censorship, their publication spurred the search for his source, though it was around a year before Kamm was arrested.

Kamm, who came to the hearing yesterday accompanied by her family and a few friends, sat in the dock, looking down, with her face frozen, as she listened to the elaboration of the sentence by judges Nurit Ahituv, Miriam Diskin and Raanan Ben-Yosef.

Among the principle reasons cited by the judges for viewing her acts harshly was the fact that she had copied such a huge volume of documents, many of them highly classified, which constituted serious breach of trust. The judges noted that her actions were clearly not the result of a momentary lapse in judgment.

Mitigating circumstances cited by the judges included that she was only 20 years old when she committed the crimes, had never before run afoul of the law, and had cooperated with investigators.

Kamm's lawyer, Eytan Lehman, said after the sentencing, "We respect the court, but dispute the considerations that guided it, as well as the weight they were given in determining the sentence, when existing precedents call for a much lighter sentence." He said they would consider an appeal.

Prosecutor Hadas Fuhrer-Gafny would not relate to a possible appeal, saying instead that "This sentence should be studied by every soldier in the army, so they can know what punishment awaits them if they remove army documents."

Meanwhile, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to decide soon whether to prosecute Blau, the Haaretz journalist, for his role in the case.

In March, the Tel Aviv district attorney said that after examining the evidence and extensive consultations, prosecutors were considering whether to charge Blau with the unauthorized retention of classified material, with no intent to harm state security.