Journalist Blau gets 4 months community service for classified documents

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Uri Blau, the Haaretz journalist who accepted classified documents from an Israeli soldier, was given a four-month suspended prison sentence.

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He will serve the time as community service, the Tel Aviv District Court agreed when it handed down the sentence Monday.

In July, Blau accepted a plea bargain. As part of the deal, he agreed to admit to holding secret intelligence without intent to harm national security.

It was the first time a journalist in Israel has been tried for possession of classified information.

Blau had faced up to seven years in prison on charges of “severe espionage,” which means that he allegedly obtained or kept secret information without authorization, but without intent to harm state security.

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said a month before the plea deal that he would indict Blau for being in possession of thousands of military documents, many of them top secret.

Blau allegedly accepted more than 1,500 classified military documents on a disk on key from Anat Kamm, 22, who is serving a 4 1/2-year prison term after accepting a plea bargain. Kamm had stolen the documents during her military service.

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