Palestine Government Spies on Jewish Experts in “arms Trial”
Menu JTA Search

Palestine Government Spies on Jewish Experts in “arms Trial”

Download PDF for this date

A protest against the use of spies by the prosecution to shadow experts called to give opinions at the “arms trial” here was voiced in court today by Dr. Philip Joseph, attorney for the defense, following the testimony of Sergeant Kelly, one of the police experts on the Hebrew language.

The British policeman testified that he overheard a conversation in Hebrew between the two experts on handwriting, Dr. Elkes and Miss Razendorfer, in which the experts, who were supposed to work independently, allegedly conferred concerning their conclusions with regard to the handwriting of Leib Sirkin, one of the accused Jews charged with buying ammunition from two British soldiers who have been found guilty by a military court of illegal arms traffic. Both experts testified in court that the handwriting found in the notes discovered on one of the convicted soldiers was not Sirkin’s.

Protesting the fact that the prosecution used Sergeant Kelly as a witness against the experts, Dr. Joseph urged that the Palestine Government assign its own expert on handwriting to establish the truth. “I am convinced of the innocence of Sirkin and I am certain that a Government expert will only collaborate the findings of Dr. Elkes and Miss Razendorfer,” he argued.

Cross-examining the policemen, Dr. Joseph proved to the court that Sergeant Kelly does not understand sufficient Hebrew to be a competent witness against the handwriting experts. The Jewish lawyer submitted an article on education from a Palestine Hebrew newspaper and asked that Kelly translate the article into English. The police expert admitted that he could not do an exact translation of the article.

The prosecutor, embarrassed by the incident, asked the court to examine Sergeant Kelly tomorrow not on written but on spoken Hebrew, since the policeman insisted that he understood what the two Jewish handwriting experts discussed. The court granted the request.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund