IRAN - June 8 - Jewish Group Seeks Amnesty For Suspected Spies.
Tehran radio reports 4 Jewish leaders representing Neturei Karta and who oppose the state of Israel, have pleaded for pardons for Jewish
suspects accused of spying for Israel. The radio says the 4, who are
visiting Iran, issued a statement that "implicitly accepted"
the charges against the 13, but said the accused had been "misused
by Zionism". They called for the defendants to be "pardoned or
have their penalties reduced". 8 of the 13 Jewish defendants have
pleaded guilty, 4 have pleaded innocent and one has said he passed
information to Israel but did not think that his action constituted
espionage. (Israel has denied that any of the 13 Jews were its spies.)
The 4 Neturei Karta leaders arrived in Tehran from New York on June 7.
(Neturei Karta, based in Jerusalem, is a group that criticises Israel as
a blasphemous attempt by man to do what only God can do - that is,
create a Jewish state.) According to Iranian Jewish officials, the
visitors came at the invitation of Iran's Foreign Ministry. On June
6, defence lawyers presented their final submission in writing to the
court. The lawyers said the confessions made by the defendants in prison
are invalid and that the state must show evidence that secret
information changed hands in order to prove espionage under Iranian law.