TEL AVIV (Apr. 25)
Twelve young people were arrested today as police broke up an unauthorized demonstration by several dozen members of leftist groups near the Haifa district court where two Jews and six Arabs went on trial this morning for activities related to a Syrian-directed Arab-Jewish spy ring. The Haifa police chief said the demonstration was illegal and constituted a danger to the public.
Three of the defendants, including David Kupfer, 26, a Jewish laborer from Bat Yam, pleaded guilty to lesser charges after the court agreed to withdraw the most serious charge against them–conspiracy with the enemy to aid its war against Israel–which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The three admitted membership in the spy ring. Kupfer admitted that he had bought airline tickets for Greece to meet Syrian agents but at the last minute did not make the trip.
The five other defendants, including Yehezkel Cohen, 30, of Bnei Bran, maintained their innocence of all charges. Cohen allegedly was assigned the code name Shalom when he joined the ring and had orders to sabotage Army installations and vital civilian industries.
Both Cohen and Kupfer were allegedly recruited into the ring by Ehud Adiv, the leader of its Jewish section, who was sentenced to a 17 year prison term earlier this month. The eight defendants who appeared in court this morning comprise the third group of spy suspects to go on trial so far.
It was learned today that prison authorities have warned Adiv and his co-defendant, Dan Vered, 28, to stop spreading leftist propaganda among fellow prisoners in the Ramleh Central Prison where they are being held for the time being. The warning was issued by Prisons Commissioner Aryeh Nir who accused the pair of conducting political activities in prison Vered a school teacher, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for his activities in the spy ring.