Spy Trial Opens Behind Closed Doors

The trial of suspected Soviet spy Shabtai Kalmanovitz opened Monday in a Tel Aviv court.

The entire trial is being conducted behind closed doors. The presiding judges are Menahem Ilan, Shoshana Berman and Zvi Hacohen. Amnon Zichroni, who defended Mordechai Vanunu at his espionage trial, is defense attorney. Central district prosecutor Nuri Shanit is arguing for the state.

Kalmanovitz, a Soviet-born businessman with important social, political, and military connections in Israel, was arrested last December for alleged espionage. He confessed to several offenses but later retracted, claiming his confessions were improperly obtained.

The case has electrified the Israeli public.

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