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Israel Supreme Court Reduces Sentence of Convicted Mapam Leader

A Supreme Court tribunal upheld today the conviction of veteran Mapam leader Aharon Cohen on charges of passing information to a foreign power but cut his sentence of five years to 30 months.

Three justices, sitting as an appeals court, split on the decision. Justices Moshe Landau and Zvi Berinson constituted the majority favoring upholding the conviction. Justice Alfred Witkon favored rejection of the conviction and a verdict of acquittal.

The justices found Cohen guilty of charges of contacts with foreign agents for 14 months and of conveying information on events in Israel. The three justices found that the third count on which the Mapam leader had been convicted, transmitting information dealing with security matters, lacked adequate evidence. The cut in the sentence was made, the justices ruled, in consideration of the defendant’s excellent record in the pre-state period and in the period since his indictment and arrest.