Daily Israel Report

Vanunu Petitions High Court to Allow Him to Leave Israel

Convicted nuclear whistleblower claims he is no longer a threat to state security - state attorneys disagree.
By Uzi Baruch and Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 12/25/2013, 9:46 PM

Mordechai Vanunu
Mordechai Vanunu
Flash 90

Almost ten years since he was released from jail, convicted spy Mordechai Vanunu has petitioned the High Court to annul the raft of restrictions placed on him, including a ban on leaving the country.

The former nuclear technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear plant was convicted in 1988 on charges of treason and espionage, and was sentenced to 18 years in jail - spending much of that time in solitary confinement. He was released in 2004, but security services say he still possesses sensitive information which could compromise state security.

Vanunu, on the other hand, claims that none of the secret information he has poses a security threat, since it is all effectively obsolete nearly thirty years on.

The nuclear spy - who converted to Christianity - refuses to speak in Hebrew and spoke only in English, saying that he did not want to live in Israel and wanted the right to start a new life elsewhere.

"I don't want to live in Israel," he said, "I cannot live here as a convicted spy, a traitor, an enemy and a Christian."

State attorney Dan Eldad challenged the appeal, saying that Vanunu still possessed sensitive, confidential information which was indeed still relevant and therefore would pose a security threat. Prosecutors are concerned that once Vanunu is out of the country and no longer threatened with jail for breaking the terms of his release - which include speaking to journalists - he would reveal more classified information.