Boston Globe correspondent Dan Ephron reports on the case of Dr. Marcus Klingberg in an article titled, “Israel details damaging espionage case.” Excerpt:
JERUSALEM – The first reports of his arrest surfaced in 1991. By that time, Marcus Klingberg, one of Israel’s leading scientists, already had been languishing in jail for eight years.
Even then, Israeli military censors barred journalists from reporting anything but the basic facts of his case. Klingberg had worked at one of Israel’s most sensitive security installations. He had been arrested in January 1983 and convicted four months later of spying for the Soviet Union. His family was forced to keep quiet about Klingberg’s whereabouts, even to the point of lying to journalists who inquired about the case.
Last week authorities finally lifted the veil on the details of one of the most damaging espionage affairs in Israel’s history.
From 1957 to 1975, Klingberg, 84, who had served as deputy head of the secretive Biological Institute near Tel Aviv, passed information to the Soviet Union about Israel’s chemical and biological warfare programs, seriously compromising the country’s ability to defend against a nonconventional attack, according to a new book and to security officials familiar with the case.
Both Mossad and Shabak, Israel’s foreign and domestic security agencies, had suspicions about Klingberg over the years, but surveillance operations turned up nothing and the scientist managed to pass successive lie detector tests.