Anat Kam Waives Immunity, Urges Uri Blau to Return to Israel

Former IDF soldier has called on Haaretz reporter to bring back documents wanted by Shin Bet.

Anat Kam will relinquish her journalistic immunity as the source of Haaretz reporter Uri Blau and is calling on him to return to Israel from London with all the documents she has given him, her defense attorney Avigdor Feldman told Haaretz on Sunday.

Feldman said that "the message we relayed to him is for the sake of Anat he should come back to Israel."

"We are working hard to convince Uri Blau through indirect ways to return to the country with the documents. I did not speak with him directly but we relayed a message to him. I think that he did not reveal the documents because he wants to protect her. Now she gave up her immunity as a source, and I am asking that he return, and his return, as far as I understand, will minimize the affair," Feldman said.

"I do not think he will be tricked," Feldman said. "I believe he will bring back the documents, he will not be harmed and the affair with Anat will also come to an end, I hope, quickly."

Attorneys for Blau, Mibi Moser and Tal Leiblich said in response that "we consider this to be a positive development. Blau's attorney's will meet with Kam's attorneys in the coming days in order to evaluate the offer and take a stance following consultations with Blau."

Feldman told Haaretz on Sunday that the defense attorneys will seek a hearing for Kam, who allegedly stole documents while a soldier in the office of the GOC Central Command, with State Prosecutor Moshe Lador or former attorney general Menachem Mazuz, who had dealt with the case in the past.

In response, officials at the Justice Ministry said that Kam's case involved an arrest, and in such cases there is no obligation to hold a hearing.

Meanwhile a group of journalists signed a petition calling for Blau not to be put on trial. Among the signatories are Geula Even, Razi Barkai, Raviv Drucker, Ben Caspit and Miki Rosenthal.

"So far, the authorities have not prosecuted journalists for holding secret information, which most of us have had in one form or another. This policy by the prosecution reflects, in our view, an imbalance between journalistic freedom, the freedom of expression and the needs for security," they wrote.

The petitioners suggested a solution in which Blau would return all documents allegedly provided to him by Kam and the prosecution would not put him on trial for violations of holding secret information.

"This could be a bad precedent, irrespective of what Blau did or did not do," one of the reporters supporting the petition said. "There is no journalist who does not have a secret document. This affair can create a dangerous precedent against freedom of expression."

For the first time last night, the IDF Spokesperson commented on the story published in Haaretz which resulted in the investigation that ended with the arrest of Kam.

The report by Blau was based on documents he received from Kam, and was published in November 2008, arguing that IDF forces in the West Bank assassinated Palestinian militants, allegedly against Supreme Court rulings.

The IDF Spokesperson said on Sunday that the claims raised in the Blau story "are upsetting and distorted."