TEL AVIV (Dec. 15)
A one-time Soviet emigre convicted of espionage was given a nine-year prison sentence by a Tel Aviv district court Thursday.
Shabtai Kalmanovitch, who arrived here from the Soviet Union 15 years ago, was found guilty by a three-judge tribunal of espionage and contact with a foreign agent.
His minimal nine-year sentence followed plea bargaining between the defense and prosecution, under which the major charge of aggravated espionage was dropped in return for pleading guilty to the lesser charge of espionage.
His trial was closed to the public and details of the case were barred from publication.
With the year he has already served in prison, and one-third off for good behavior, the 43-year-old Kalmanovitch should be free within five years.
There have been rumors here and abroad that Kalmanovitch might be released and sent back to the Soviet Union, as part of a three-way exchange between the Pollards in the United States and a third unidentified espionage prisoner who would be returned to the United States.