MK Rotem: I won't Help Jailed Spy
Anat Kam, who is in jail for possessing classified documents and passing them on to an unauthorized person, is trying to pressure the Knesset into passing the "Anat Kam Law," which she believes will help her in appealing her sentence. However, the Chairman of the Knesset's Law, Constitution and Justice Committee, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beitenu), will have none of it.
Kam has filed a motion in the High Court for Justice, requesting the court to instruct the Knesset to hold a vote on the bill, which would define "holding secret documents and passing them on to an unauthorized person without permission – without intent to cause harm to the state" as a distinct offense.
This offense would carry a lighter sentence than a similar offense perpetrated with intent to harm the state -- which Kam was convicted of.
Since Kam says she did not mean to harm the state in leaking the documents – which she obtained when she was a soldier serving in Central Command Headquarters – she believes passage of the law would help her in her appeal for a lighter sentence.
MK Rotem, for his part, has refused to bring the bill for a vote in his committee. Kam's lawyers want to court to decide this delay is illegal, and to force MK Rotem to hold a debate on the matter.
MK Rotem explained that "Anat Kam, who has perpetrated a serious offense against the State of Israel, cannot expect Knesset Members who believe that loyalty and citizenship are intertwined to help advance a law that will assist her."
"The committees' agenda is set by the committee chairman," Rotem noted, "as he judges best and according to the priorities he sets, and these are the criteria according to which the [date for] discussion of the bill will be set in the future."
If the High Court forces him to hold the session, Rotem warned, he will make sure that a majority of MKs opposes it.