Ex-Mossad man sues state; says Pollard affair cost him $500,000

Nir Hasson - Haaretz - Dec. 4, 2006

Former Defense Ministry counsel and Mossad staffer Harold Katz has filed suit against the state in Jerusalem District Court. According to the attorney, the state prevented his travel to the U.S. to recoup moneys seized by authorities there, due to concerns he would be interrogated regarding his role in the Jonathan Pollard affair.

Katz immigrated from the U.S. to Israel in 1972, when he began working at the Defense Ministry. According to the NIS 4.25 million lawsuit, he left the ministry in 1983 and began providing services to "a certain state entity." Two years later, U.S. naval analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested for espionage for Israel. The Americans suspected that the documents Pollard passed along to Israel were copied in an apartment Katz owned.

Katz was summoned for questioning by a federal grand jury in the U.S. This worried the Israeli defense establishment, which issued an injunction against Katz traveling to the U.S.

In the early 1990s, Brigadier General Rami Dotan, who served as chief procurement officer for the Israel Air Force, was accused of accepting bribes. Katz's name again came up in the interrogation.

According to the lawsuit, American authorities, with Israeli cooperation, confiscated $500,000 from a Swiss bank account in Katz's name. Katz charges that the move was slated to force him to appear in a U.S. court to defend his assets from seizure. At the time, Katz says, Defense Ministry official Yechiel Horev and then-state prosecutor Dorit Beinisch promised him the state would restore any moneys he lost.