TEL AVIV (Jul. 27)
Five French citizens, two of them sisters born in Casablanca, Morocco, went on trial before a military tribunal in Lydda today on charges of planning to carry out acts of sabotage in the service of a terrorist organization. The sisters, Nadia and Marlene Bardali, aged 26 and 21, confessed to the charges of transporting explosives and working for a terrorist organization but the court denied their request to be tried separately from the other accused. The girls arrived in Israel last April 11 with forged passports. A search of their baggage yielded a quantity of explosives and detonators. Their co-defendants are Evelyn Barge, alias Marie Francoise, 28, who also entered Israel on a forged passport, and an elderly couple, Pierre and Edith Burghalter, who arrived in Israel April 9 with explosives concealed in the lining of their clothes.
Miss Barge has been linked with plane hijackings carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She allegedly delivered fire-arms from Beirut to Europe to sabotage Israeli installations on the Continent and later came to Israel for the same purpose. The Burghalters were arrested at their hotel in Tel Aviv two days after their arrival. They allegedly were paid $1,000 to bring concealed explosives into the country. According to the alleged plot, the three young women were to plant the explosives in public places. The girls from Casablanca appeared contrite in court today. Miss Barge was defiant. The Burghalters were glum. They were permitted to sit while the charges were read. The trial will resume tomorrow.