TEL AVIV (Dec. 19)
Members of the Arab-Jewish spy ring are expected to go on trial shortly in Haifa before a panel of three civilian judges, it was reported today. Police were said to be completing their files on the suspects to turn over to the State attorneys who will conduct the prosecution’s case. Defense counsels have not yet been named. No date has been announced for the trial opening.
As of last week there were 46 suspects directly implicated in the Syrian-directed spy and sabotage ring. The release of 11 suspects and the arrests of two more were reported yesterday. Facing trial are four Jews and 35 Arabs and Druze, a total of 39 suspects. It was not clear whether all would be tried at the same time. Police said there were up to 150 other persons who were either marginally involved with the ring or who knew of its existence but failed to inform the authorities.
KIBBUTZ WARNS AGAINST SLANDER, INJURY
Kibbutz Gan Shmuel announced today that it would help the parents of one of the key Jewish suspects, 26-year-old Ehud Adiv, pay for their son’s legal defense. The announcement made it clear that the kibbutz was in no way involved in the defense apart from paying legal fees and would not identify itself with any line that may be adopted by the defense.
The Adiv family are life-long members of Gan Shmuel where Adiv was born and raised. But the young man left Gan Shmuel three years ago because, according to a statement by the kibbutz secretariate, he could not accept its principles which envision Zionism as a liberation movement of the Jewish people.
Kibbutz Artzi, the Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz movement, warned today that it would take legal action against anyone slandering or otherwise injuring any member of “our movement or specifically of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel.” While expressing deep shock over the revelations that Jews participated in the spy ring, Kibbutz Artzi condemned “ideological lynching and the wild incitement of political profiteers” against the movement.
The Achdut Avodah-oriented Hakibutz Hameuchad movement has also expressed “disgust” at attempts in some quarters to smear the kibbutz movements because one of the spy suspects was a product of a kibbutz education and upbringing. Premier Golda Meir warned Sunday night that accusations against the kibbutz movement were “the worst kind of demogogic slander.”
DEVOTED TO ZIONIST IDEALS
The statement by Kibbutz Gan Shmuel today stressed that “A man can be a member of the kibbutz only if he agrees to Zionist principles and the vision of Zionism as a liberation movement of the Jewish nation. It was because he could not accept these principles that Ehud Adiv left the kibbutz.”
The statement added that the kibbutz would pay for Adiv’s defense because “unlike some totalitarian countries, we do not expect that parents should turn their backs on their son. The parents have a right to provide legal counsel to their son just as the State provides defense counsel to any defendants.”
It was learned today that Adiv had differences with Daoud Turki, the Christian Arab leader of the spy ring and was sent to Damascus where he was instructed by Syrian agents to follow Turki’s orders.