Israel Parliament Hears Minister of Interior on Soblen’s Deportation

Dr. Robert A. Soblen, who fled to Israel to avoid serving a life sentence in the U.S. for espionage, did not ask permission to remain in Israel under the Law of the Return but even if he had, it would have been refused him. Interior Minister Moshe Shapiro declared today in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. A full debate in Knesset on the Soblen case is expected tomorrow. (See page 2)

In a reply to questions by Communist deputies, the Interior Minister said deportation of Dr. Soblen was in line with the Government’s policy against giving a haven to criminals from other countries. He added that Dr. Soblen was not expelled under the Law of the Return but under the law dealing with illegal entry. He also stated that the expulsion was not an act of extradition to the United States as one of the deputies had implied.

In reference to criticism that the expulsion action was for a seriously sick person, the Minister disclosed that Dr. Soblen was subjected to a physical examination, before he was expelled, which found him fit to travel. The Minister also told the Knesset that Dr. Soblen’s attorney had three full days in which to seek a Supreme Court stay and that it was not the function of his Ministry to advise attorneys on procedures for their clients. To critics who said that Dr. Soblen had been expelled during a ten-day detention order issued by an Israeli magistrate, Mr. Shapiro replied that the police were empowered to hold a man to the prescribed detention period but that they were not obligated to do so.

NEXT STORY