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Spy Gets New Clemency Hearing

Israel’s High Court of Justice heard testimony this week on a clemency appeal for convicted Soviet spy Marcus Klingberg.

The 77-year-old scientist has served 12 years of an 18-year sentence for revealing secrets to the former Soviet Union.

Ya’acov Perry, the former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, testified Wednesday on Klingberg’s behalf, saying that the former Red Army colonel no longer posed a threat to state security.

Defense attorney Avigdor Feldman has asked that his client be granted early release, citing health problems.

Two earlier attempts to secure Klingberg’s release from prison were unsuccessful.

Officials of the state have argued that Klingberg posed a potential threat to Israel’s security.

A court ruling is expected in the coming days.

The Polish-born Klingberg came to Israel from the former Soviet Union in 1948.

He was tried secretly in 1983, but it was only last year that his trial and imprisonment were made public.