JERUSALEM (Mar. 27)
The trial before a military tribunal of a group of four Lebanese Jews and non-Jews charged with spying for Israel and assisting Jews to escape from Arab countries, opened in Beirut yesterday, according to reports in the Arab press.
All but one of the defendants, who were arrested several months ago and later released, have apparently been arrested a second time. One defendant, on trial in absentia, apparently escaped the country or is in hiding.
Two Jewish defendants, Eliahu Levi and Tawfik Mizrahi are members of well-known Lebanese Jewish families. Mizrahi who is one of the editors of “Commerce du Liban, ” one of the most important economic publications in the Middle East, is the one being tried in absentia, the reports indicated.
The non-Jewish defendants include a Christian and a Moslem. All four are charged with conducting their activities through a foreign embassy in Beirut. The name of the country whose embassy is involved was not disclosed.
After hearing the initial statements by the prosecution and defense, the tribunal ruled last night to hold further sessions behind closed doors.