Israeli court convicts nuclear whistle-blower for violating terms of release
An Israeli court has convicted nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu of what it described as a violation of the terms of his release from prison under parole, more than a decade after he completed an 18-year prison sentence.
The so-called Jerusalem Magistrate Court made the ruling on January 10, but it was not cleared for publication until Monday. A sentence is due on March 14.
The 62-year-old former nuclear technician was convicted of meeting two US nationals in East Jerusalem al-Quds in 2013 without having permission to do so. He was, however, cleared of two other counts.
Vanunu had also been accused of moving apartments in 2014 without notifying Israeli authorities and attending an interview in 2015 with Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel 2 television network.
In the interview, the nuclear whistle-blower reportedly revealed details about Tel Aviv’s “greatest secrets” regarding its clandestine atomic activities. In the lengthy interview broadcast on September 4, 2015, Vanunu explained how he once exposed the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and elaborated on a potential disaster that could emanate from Israel’s notorious Dimona nuclear plant.
Vanunu leaked the details and pictures of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in 1986.
Israeli intelligence agents drugged and abducted him in Italy in 1986 and then transported him to the occupied territories for prosecution. He spent the subsequent 18 years behind bars, 11 of which were spent in solitary confinement.
Vanunu faces a travel ban, among a long and stringent list of restrictions. He insists that he wants to annul his “citizenship.”
The Israeli regime, however, has repeatedly rejected Vanunu’s request for leaving the occupied territories and reuniting with his family in Norway.
Israel has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The regime is widely believed to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads in defiance of international law.