Dr. Beer, Israeli Military Expert Arrested for Espionage, is Indicted

Dr. Israel Beer, well-known Israeli military analyst arrested last month on charges of acting as a spy for a Communist country, was served with an eight-point indictment here today. The indictment accuses him of “handing over vital information to a foreign country, with the intention of undermining the State’s security.”

Two clauses in the indictment accuse Dr. Beer of violating the Official Secrets Act, while six other clauses charge him with violating the State Security Act. If convicted, he is liable to life imprisonment.

Dr. Beer, who held the rank of lieutenant colonel, retired, in the Israeli Army, was arrested at his home in this city, on the edge of a small park overlooking the Yarkon River. Large quantities of materials were confiscated in his home. He was accused by the police of having made his last contact with the Communist agent only a few hours prior to his arrest.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion refused in the Knesset (Parliament) in Jerusalem today to name the country for which Beer had spied. Demands by the right-wing Herut Party that the diplomat who was Beer’s contact be expelled, as persona non grata, were answered by diplomatic circles who said that the diplomat had already left Israel.

Parliament rejected yesterday a motion for debate on the security measures practiced by the Defense Ministry in a sequel to the disclosure that Dr. Beer, an employee of that Ministry, had been a spy for many years.

Mr. Ben-Gurion denied, in the discussion preceding the vote, that Beer had been his military adviser. The Prime Minister said he took advice only from Israel’s General Staff with which Dr. Beer had not been connected.

The Israel Cabinet meanwhile entrusted the issue to a committee of ministers which is reviewing employment procedures in the Foreign and Defense establishments. It was emphasized that precedents showed that a democratic society could not prevent infiltrations of spies into the most secret places.

The Prime Minister said that a plenary debate was uncalled for and might be harmful. The Knesset overwhelmingly endorsed the Prime Minister’s request against a debate on the problem.

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