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Nuclear whistle-blower convicted of violating release terms

Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu has been convicted of violating the terms of his release, more than a decade after completing an 18-year jail term, a court announced Monday.

Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, which he was charged with violating on three counts.

Vanunu was convicted of meeting with two US nationals in Jerusalem in 2013 without having permission to do so, and will be sentenced in two months, a court statement said.

He was cleared of two other charges, one of which related to an interview he gave to Israel’s Channel 2 television in 2015.

Vanunu conviction’s dates back to January 18 but it was not made public until Monday. A sentencing hearing has been set for March 14.

The former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant to Britain’s The Sunday Times newspaper.

He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.

In the Channel 2 interview, Vanunu said he no longer has any secrets to spill and just wanted to join his new bride in Norway, theology professor Kristin Joachimsen whom he married at a Lutheran church in Jerusalem in May that year.

After the interview he appeared in a Jerusalem court and was confined to his home for a week and barred from using the Internet, according to a report by Israel’s Army Radio.

In 2011, the High Court barred him from emigrating on the grounds that he still poses a threat to state security.

Vanunu, 62, converted from Judaism to Christianity shortly before being snatched by Mossad agents in Rome and smuggled to Israel.

He has twice before been jailed for breaking the terms of his parole.

Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons.


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