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Defense Says Spy Ring Defendants Acted Politically, Asks for Acquittals

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Defense counsel in the Syrian spy trial asked the court today to acquit the six defendants of espionage charges on grounds that they acted solely from political motivations and had no intention of harming the State.

Ali Raffa, the attorney for Daoud Osman Turki, the ring leader of the Syrian-directed Arab-Jewish spy ring, and Tousiya Cohen, lawyer for Ehud Adiv, head of the ring’s Jewish section, did not deny that their clients visited Syria, trained in the use of arms and explosives and passed information to enemy agents.

But they claimed that they were motivated by a political ideology that wanted to bring about political revolutions in Israel and other Middle Eastern countries. The attorneys argued that the defendants passed on information that was known to every soldier and civilian in Israel and therefore could not be considered classified.

The court is expected to pronounce judgement in several days after which 27 other spy ring suspects including four Jews, will be brought to trial in the same Haifa district court.

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