Another Israeli-handled spy in the US walks away free



On April 23 intelNews first reported, and on May 4 confirmed, that the two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists involved in the Lawrence Franklin spy case in the US would escape trial. Lawrence Anthony Franklin was a US Defense Department analyst who in 2006 was given a 12-year prison sentence for handing classified US military information to Israeli agent Uzi Arad, Israeli Embassy official Naor Gilon, as well as to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, both former AIPAC lobbyists. But last month US Justice Department prosecutors dropped all charges against the two former AIPAC members due to “significant reservations about the case”, even though several Department officials believe that Rosen and Weissman “acted imprudently”, according to The New York Times. As IntelNews learned, the decision was taken despite significant objections from FBI officials, who desperately pressured the Department to go forward with the trial until the very last minute. The Bureau appears to be infuriated about the dismissal, which is rumored to be partly based on fears that classified information exposed during a trial could harm US national security. But this appears to be making no difference. In a final blow to the Bureau, a US federal judge has now decided to let Larry Franklin walk scot-free, despite his former conviction for espionage against the United States. Last week, judge T.S. Ellis reduced Franklin’s sentence to “probation plus 10 months in community confinement”. Ellis justified his decision primarily on Franklin’s alleged cooperation in naming Rosen and Weissman –which amounted to nothing since the two former AIPAC lobbyists managed to escape trial. Interestingly, portions of court filings on Franklin’s court case are expected to remain under seal.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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