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Trial of Two Britons Charged with Espionage Opens in Jerusalem; Adjourned Temporarily

September 16, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The trial of two Britons charged with collecting and passing on information concerning Israeli troop movements to the Arabs and of illegal possession of a radio transmitter opened in a Jerusalem district court today. The trial was adjourned shortly afterwards while the presiding judge decided whether to omit an additional charge against one of the defendants.

Both Frederick Sylvester and William George Hawkins, the defendants, were charged on all of the espionage counts. Sylvester was also charged with participating in the conspiracy which led to the Ben Yehuda Street explosion in Jerusalem which blasted a block of tenements and killed over 50 men, women and children earlier this year.

The defense attorney demanded that the extra charge be omitted because it would embarrass the witnesses and hamper the defense of the second defendant. Attorney General Jacob Shapiro argued that the indictment was drawn up in accordance with the law and demanded that Sylvester be charged on all counts. The court reserved judgment.

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