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Mordecai Oren Released in Czechoslovakia; Was Sentenced to 15 Years

Mordecai Oren, Israeli Mapam-leader, implicated in the Slansky “treason” trials in Prague and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, has been freed by the Czech authorities, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced here last night.

The announcement revealed that the Israeli Charge d’Affaires in Prague was notified yesterday that the Czechoslovak Government had decided to commute the remainder of Mr. Oren’s sentence and release him immediately. The Czech authorities requested that the Israeli Charge d’Affaires make arrangements for Mr. Oren’s immediate departure from Czechoslovakia.

(In Zurich, Switzerland, where he arrived by air from Prague today, Mr. Oren reasserted his innocence of the espionage charges on which he was convicted. He said that while he was not mistreated physically by the Czech authorities, “the methods they use are quite formidable.” He said that he did not remember what he had said at his trial, but reported that he was arrested four and one-half years ago on a train while travelling in Czechoslovakia on an invitation from the Czech labor federation.)