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Israeli nuclear whistle-blower convicted of violating release terms

JERUSALEM: Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu has been convicted of violating the terms of his release, more than a decade after completing an 18-year jail term, a court announced on Monday.

Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, which he was charged with violating on three counts.

Vanunu was convicted of meeting two US nationals in Jerusalem in 2013 without having permission to do so, and will be sentenced in two months, a court statement said.

He was cleared of two other charges, one of which related to an interview he gave to an Israeli television channel in 2015.

Vanunu’s conviction dates back to Jan 18, but it was not made public until Monday. A sentencing hearing has been set for March 14.

The former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.

He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.

In the TV interview, Vanunu said he no longer had any secrets to spill and just wanted to join his new bride in Norway, theology professor Kristin Joachimsen whom he married at a Lutheran church in Jerusalem in May last year.

He has been barred from emigrating on the grounds that he still poses a threat to national security.

Vanunu, 62, converted from Judaism to Christianity shortly before being snatched by Mossad agents in Rome and smuggled to Israel.

He has twice before been jailed for breaking the terms of his parole.

Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons.

It has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of its Dimona plant in the Negev desert of southern Israel.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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