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Nafsu Presses for Compensation

Izat Nafsu, a former Israel Defense Force officer, and the government are at odds over what constitutes adequate compensation for the seven years Nafsu spent in prison on espionage charges found to have been based on false evidence.

Nafsu, a Circassian Moslem, is claiming 1.4 million shekels, the equivalent of almost $1 million. The government has decided to pay him 70,000 shekels, the sum he would have earned as an IDF lieutenant had he not been dismissed and jailed, the weekly Koteret Rashit reported Wednesday.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal secret service, insists Nafsu is not entitled to any compensation and has urged the attorney general to reject all claims. According to Shin Bet, he was not acquitted of charges that he had contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization and was not proven completely innocent of other charges.

Israel’s Supreme Court earlier this year ordered Nafsu released from prison. It upheld an appeals court finding that he had been convicted largely on evidence fabricated by the Shin Bet.