Anat Kam Sues Haaretz for Revealing Her Identity
Anat Kam is suing Israeli newspaper Haaretz for 2.6 million shekel on charges of leaking her identity through the IDF documents she submitted to journalist Uri Blau.
Kam was released earlier this week, after serving just two thirds of her prison sentence for espionage. Kam was convicted of stealing the documents during the period of 2005-2007, when she served in the IDF as a secretary in the IDF's Central Command headquarters. She copied thousands of sensitive documents to a disk-on-key (USB drive) which she proceeded to hand over to reporter Uri Blau of the left-wing Haaretz.
Blau published some of the information in the documents, but he claimed that the information he used was not classified or damaging to the country's security.
Kam was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for her theft. The sentence was later reduced by one year, after an appeal by Kam's lawyers that the sentence was unnecessarily harsh.
Now, she and lawyer Ilan Bombach are suing the daily for revealing her identity - after it was promised to her that her safety would not be compromised and her identity would be kept secret throughout the media leak.
Bombach insisted to Arutz Sheva that Haaretz's major blunder in the case began very early on, when the daily published photocopies of the illegally copied documents. Kam allegedly warned the newspaper from the beginning that while she was giving them documents to leak in spite of a gag order, publishing the documents themselves would place her safety in jeopardy.
Haaretz ignored her warnings and published the photocopies anyway, claims Bombach. While no formal agreement was signed, Blau was allegedly told that it was extremely important to keep his source absolutely anonymous.
The hefty asking price of 2.6 million shekel was not by chance, Bombach noted; it is the sum of several calculations regarding Kam's lost income, her legal fees, and other expenses due to the legal and political ordeal.
Bombach also opined that Blau's sentence - a mere 6 months of community service - is far too light for leaking Kam's identity and the documents. Bombach stated that Blau violated one of the terms of the sentence he negotiated with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) in not keeping the documents in a locked safe.
Bombach also noted that Blau's sentence is the first of its kind; no journalist in Israel has ever been indicted for a crime like this before. He insisted that the procedures for publishing reports - especially security information, which may be subject to censorship according to government guidelines - are unclear. Bombach insisted that while he does not believe Kam committed a serious crime, clarification of procedures could prevent something similar from happening in the future.