According to a report in today’s Guardian, Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear whistle-blower is facing charges of violating the terms of his release 12 years after his release following 18 years in prison. On his release in 2004, he was subjected to a series of restraining orders, some of which he has violated in recent years, the justice ministry said.
In 2013 Vanunu met two US nationals at a hotel in East Jerusalem, without having permission. He is also accused of moving to a different flat in his apartment building in 2014 and failing to inform police. And in 2015, he granted an interview to Channel 2 television, in which he relayed to the interviewer “classified information that was by cut out by censors” according to the indictment served at Jerusalem magistrates court on Sunday.
He has been barred from emigrating on the grounds that he still poses a threat to national security. In the interview in 2015 Vanunu said he no longer had any secrets and just wanted to join his new bride in Norway, theology professor Kristin Joachimsen, whom he married at a Lutheran church in Jerusalem that May.
He has of course been here before. In 2010 he was jailed for 11 weeks for breaking the terms of his release by meeting a foreigner, a prison official said. Subsequently he appealed against the restrictions placed upon him including the state’s refusal to allow him to leave the country. He is still waiting to hear the outcome of that appeal.
Given the vindictive attitude of the authorities towards Mordechai, it is likely that the appeal will be thrown out and that he faces a further period of judicial harassment.
Update from Vanunu supporters in UK from an unpublished letter to The Guardian::
“…The latest charges for alleged breaches of the restrictions were brought on 8th May, and comprise: talking to two US nationals three years ago; remarks, not broadcast, during a TV interview last September, for which he was punished the same month; moving flats within the same building without informing the police. How petty canyou get?
Avigdor Feldman, Vanunu’s lawyer, claims that the charges have been levied now to use against him in a legal challenge he is currently bringing against his international travel ban.
Amnesty International has declared that if he is sent to prison on these charges it would consider him a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.”