Israel says indicts ex-cabinet minister over alleged spying for Iran

21 June, 2018, 12:48 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Israel charges ex-minister Gonen Segev with spying for Iran

Last week, former energy Minister Gonen Segeju was charged with espionage against Israel in favor of Iran, said on Monday, June 18, Ynet. The indictment was approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan.

Segev, who is also a physician, spent two years in jail for trying to smuggle more than 30,000 ecstasy tablets into Israel from the Netherlands and forging a diplomatic passport, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Israeli services have discovered during their investigation that Segev had been recruited by Iran and became an agent for its intelligence services.

Segev reportedly even travelled to Iran to meet with his handlers and, according to the statement, also met with them in safe houses and hotels at unspecified locations where he received encryption equipment to communicate with the Iranian agents.

Segev even twice visited Iran, and there met with his Iranian leaders. Segev was given a secret communications system to encode the messages between him and his operators.

According to Israel, Segev maintained contacts with Israeli citizens in the defense and security sectors, as well as with Israeli diplomats in order to obtain information.

He was questioned about information which indicated he might have been in contact with Iranian intelligence agents and assisting their activities against Israel. All further details pertaining to the case have been placed under gag order.

But Segev's lawyers, Eli Zohar and Moshe Mazor, said some of the allegations in the Shin Bet statement were overblown. An indictment was recently filed.

"Most of the details are confidential at the request of the state".

Segev, a native-born Israeli, was elected to parliament in 1992 and served as a minister from 1995 to 1996.

"I wanted to fool the Iranians and come back to Israel a hero", he was quoted as saying during his interrogation.

The following year he admitted the charges as part of a plea bargain agreement. He did not serve his full term; his sentence was shortened by a third for good behavior. Segev was remanded in custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted drug trafficking. He tried to appeal this ruling and asked Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman to restore his license, but Litzman refused.

After his political career, he turned to business.


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