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Rice to be subpoenaed to testify in lobbyist espionage case
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10:08, November 03, 2007

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A U.S. federal judge ruled on Friday that State Secretary Condoleezza Rice and other senior government officials would be subpoenaed to testify in an espionage case involving lobbyists for Israel.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled to subpoena Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams and other 13 current or former government officials to testify at a trial next year of two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists.

According to the federal prosecutors, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are accused of providing classified information obtained from a Pentagon official, who has been convicted, to Israeli officials and press.

The information included details about the al-Qaida terror network, U.S. policy in Iran and the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia.

However, defense attorneys argued that it was common for senior U.S. officials to use the lobbyists as a go-between when they crafted Middle East policy.

They hope the government officials' testimony can confirm that the two lobbyists were not engaged in spying but played sanctioned role in crafting foreign policy.

Judge Ellis III said the lobbyists have a right to argue what they have been charged for was just an example of "the government's use of AIPAC as a diplomatic back channel."


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