Kamm-Blau: A bone to the prosecution, a steak to the defence

Yesterday, the  Supreme Court ruled that Anat Kamm’s house arrest conditions are to be toughened slightly. If earlier she could stay in both her Tel Aviv flat and with her parents in Jerusalem, she can now stay in Jerusalem only, under constant supervision by family members, and to check in with the nearest police station once a week.

The verdict was rendered on two appeals: The state was appealing to have Kamm remanded until the trial is complete, and Kamm was appealing to have her house arrest conditions eased. Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procaccia (above) said:

“The acts attributed to Kamm pertain to indicate a deep distortion of the  understanding of a soldier’s duty to the military he is requested to serve, and a deflection from the basic responsibility owed by the citizen to the state to which he belongs.”

However, as reported by Walla::

“It was possible and advisable to extend Kamm’s remand at the beginning of the process,” [the justice said]. However, in view of the considerable time Kamm had by now spent under house arrest, and since there is no information on violating her parole, the Supreme Court will be content with toughening the conditions of the house arrest. The Supreme Court also clarified that any violation of Kamms’ conditions and obligations might result her being actually detained, and that “the line separating an ordinary arrest from the alternative is thinner than thin.”

According to Globes, Kamm’s original house arrest terms include:

“A ban on leaving the country and surrendering her passport to state custody; a bank bail to the sum of NIS 100,000, a self bail to the sum of NIS 150,000, and a third party bail, paid by her mother, to the sum of NIS 150,000; and prohibition to contact journalists Uri Blau and Yossi Yehoshua, whose names appear in the indictment.”

In other words, the judge wagged her finger at Kamm and made some unfair and offensive remarks – one could well argue that a state belongs to its citizens, not the other way around, and that Kamm’s actions testify to advanced, rather than basic, responsibility – and caused her some degree of inconvenience.

In other words, the court threw a bone to the prosecution, but a juicy steak to the defence: It recognized Kamm was not at the moment dangerous to state security, despite the state’s claim they still don’t know whether she has classified information in her possession. Apart from apparently ensuring she’ll stay out of jail at least until her sentencing, this may well affect the outcome of the trial – such relaxed view of what danger she poses to the public will force the prosecution to put most weight behind the punitive, rather that preventative, reasoning for her conviction.

Nearly off-topic – yrs truly was on TV last night, talking (through a bad flu) about the entire affair. Also featuring Richard Silverstein, and in the broadcast version, Mya Guarnieri. The Russia Today crew deserve a special citation for being the only outlet so far, to my knowledge, to check in with the family of the Palestinian paramilitary whose alleged extrajudicial execution Kamm and Blau exposed.

Update: If you want to read the verdict yourself, it’s here (Hebrew). Note all the blackouts.

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