Daily Israel Report

Convicted Traitor, Nuclear Spy Vanunu Has Sentence Reduced

Mordechai Vanunu, convicted of treason and espionage in 1986 for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets to a UK newspaper, has his latest sentence cut
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 9/24/2008, 1:06 PM

An Israeli court on Tuesday halved a six-month sentence against nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu. Vanunu spent 18 years in prison for exposing Israeli nuclear secrets and details pertaining to Israel's Dimona nuclear plant to British newspaper, The Sunday Times, in 1986.

Vanunu's latest incarceration was for violating court-ordered bans on travel and contacting foreign media in 2007, when he contacted foreign media and tried to visit Arab-occupied Bethlehem.

A Jerusalem Magistrates'Court determined it would reduce Vanunu's sentence because Vanunu is sickly and his parole violations did not constitute a security risk.
We don't need a Jewish state

 
Vanunu, 54, worked from  1976 to 1985, as a nuclear plant technician and shift manager at the Negev Nuclear Research Center south of Dimona. He converted to Christianity in 1986 during a trip to Australia following his dismissal from the center, renaming himself John Crossman. After his conversion, Vanunu traveled to Britain, where he leaked Israel's nuclear secrets to a journalist whom he befriended.  While Vanunu was in the UK, some accounts say that a female Mossad agent was charged with luring him out of Britain to Rome, where he was captured and taken back to Israel.

Following his release from prison, Vanunu vowed to disassociate with Israel, even refusing to speak Hebrew, telling the BBC that "We don't need a Jewish state."