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Vanunu Convicted for Interview

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    Mordechai Vanunu reacts as a right-wing activist verbally abuses him at Israel s Supreme Court Vanunu convicted for media links
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2007
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      Mordechai Vanunu reacts as a right-wing activist verbally abuses him
      at Israel's Supreme Court


      Vanunu convicted for media links
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6607199.stm


      Many Israelis regard Mr Vanunu (left) as a traitor to their country
      A court in Israel has convicted former nuclear technician Mordechai
      Vanunu of violating a military order banning him from speaking to
      foreign journalists.

      The verdict could mean a fresh jail term for Mr Vanunu, who served 18
      years in prison for revealing details of Israel's clandestine nuclear
      programme.

      His lawyer called it intolerable to convict a person for the mere act
      of speaking, never mind whatever was said.

      A sentencing hearing is set for 18 May. Vanunu is banned from leaving
      Israel.

      "We should be clear here that Vanunu was convicted for the very act of
      speaking to non-Israelis, rather than the content of those
      conversations," lawyer Michel Sfard said.

      "We do not consider this appropriate for a democracy in the 21st Century."

      Mr Sfard said interior ministry officials had told him the travel ban
      on Mr Vanunu had been extended by another year to April 2008.

      'Security threat'

      "All that I want is to be free, to leave the country," Mr Vanunu, 52,
      told reporters at the magistrate's court in Jerusalem.

      He was jailed in 1986 and released in April 2004 under strict
      conditions, including not talking to the foreign press.

      However, he has given a series of interviews to the international
      media in the last three years.

      Mr Vanunu's revelations belied Israel's policy of "strategic
      ambiguity" about its atomic weapons programme.

      It is believed to have at least 200 nuclear warheads. It is not
      subject to international monitoring because it is not a signatory of
      the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

      Israel insists Mr Vanunu - who has converted to Christianity - still
      poses a security threat.

      Mr Vanunu says his action in revealing Israel's nuclear secrets aimed
      to avert a nuclear holocaust in the region.

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