Photo: Gil Yochanan
Nuke whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu arrested again
Photo: Gil Yochanan

Nuke whistleblower faces indictment

Mordechai Vanunu charged with violating release terms; indictment cites 21 violations

TEL AVIV - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz filed an indictment on Thursday against nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, accusing him of disclosing additional secret information about Israel's largest atomic reactor to foreign journalists, less than a year after he had been released from an 18-year prison term.


The indictment was filed after police arrested Vanunu for the third time in less than a year.


Mazuz said that since he was released from prison, Vanunu violated continuously a series of bans imposed on him by the Shin Bet security service. He said Vanunu gave interviews and maintained contact with foreign journalists, where he revealed extensive information about his former job at the Dimona nuclear plant.


The indictment said Vanunu also named atomic materials he claimed were found in the reactor and explained how they were delivered there. He also allegedly explained to the reporters precisely how he gathered his material and photographs about the structure, which he gave to the Sunday Times.


Vanunu was jailed in 1986 for leaking photos and information from his job at Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona - the country's biggest - to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, leading experts to believe Israel had more than 100 nuclear weapons. Security officials had always maintained he has more secrets to tell, which he denied.


The indictment also cited an additional 21 occurrences that he said marked violations of terms the Shin Bet security service had set for Vanunu as conditions for his release in April 2004, namely his numerous attempts to leave the country.


Vanunu, a convert to Christianity from Judaism who has repeatedly tried to claim asylum abroad, was detained by police for several hours on Dec. 25, 2004 for trying to enter the Palestinian town of Bethlehem for Christmas. He was released hours later.


"Israel has still not learned to give equal rights to people who are not Jewish, including myself," Vanunu told Israeli reporters in December. "As a Christian, I have been denied the right to spend Christmas with my family and friends."


The whistleblower has adoptive parents in Minnesota.


פרסום ראשון: 03.17.05, 17:12
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