WASHINGTON (Oct. 7)
Rabbi Meir Kahane and 15 other members of the Jewish Defense League filed suit for damages today against US Attorney General John Mitchell and nine agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged illegal wire-tapping of the telephones at JDL headquarters in New York City. The complaint filed in the US District Court here asks damages in the amount of $732,800. Nathan Lewin, the attorney representing the plaintiffs said the suit was based on the admission by the FBI last July that it tapped the JDL wires. The admission was made in the course of a trial in Brooklyn in which Kahane received a suspended sentence on charges of violating the Federal Gun Control Act.
According to Lewin, the Department of Justice submitted an affidavit at the time that admitted that wiretapping was necessary in the interests of the nation’s foreign affairs and security. Lewin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the suit was based on a 1968 wiretap law which provides civil damages for wiretapping not authorized by a court order. He said the alleged wiretaps took place over a period of 208 days during Oct. of last year and between Jan. 5-June 30 of this year. Each plaintiff is suing for $20,800 in damages and $25,000 each additional in punitive damages.