Former Israeli government minister charged with spying for Iran

21 Juin, 2018, 12:46 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Former Israeli government minister charged with spying for Iran

Former minister Gonen Segev was extradited to Israel from Guinea and charged with spying for Iran last month, the Shin Bet security service reveals.

According to the newspaper, Segeju was charged with espionage and collaboration with the enemy in time of war.

Segev, who served as the head of the Energy and Infrastructure Ministry from 1995 to 1996, has been living out of Israel since 2007, as his political career came to an abrupt end.

Gonen Segev, 62, who served as energy and infrastructure minister in the 1990s, was "recruited and acted as an agent on behalf of Iranian intelligence", Shin Bet says.

Segev also received a secret encryption system for his messages to and from his operators.

In order to perform the missions that he had been assigned by his handlers, Segev maintained contacts with Israeli citizens in the foreign affairs and security fields. Local police turned him over to Israel after refusing to grant him entry to the country because of his criminal record. Segev is accused of trying to smuggle 25,000 ecstasy tablets from Holland by changing the date on an out-of-date diplomatic passport. It was also learned that contact had been made in 2012 between Segev and elements from the Iranian Embassy in Nigeria, and that Segev had subsequently twice visited Iran to meet with his handlers in full knowledge that they were Iranian intelligence operatives.

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Upon landing in Israel Segev was arrested by the Shin Bet and Israel Police on suspicion that he had been in touch with Iranian intelligence agents.

But Segev's lawyers, Eli Zohar and Moshe Mazor, said some of the allegations in the Shin Bet statement were overblown. The Shin Bet announcement "assigns the matters extreme severity while the indictment itself, whose details are under gag order, paint a different picture", they said.

He was elected to the Knesset in 1992 as part of the now-defunct, hawkish opposition Tzomet Party and was lured to join Yitzhak Rabin's government as energy minister in 1994 before he quit politics.

Segev's license to practice medicine was invalidated following his conviction for drug smuggling.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that if Segev is convicted of the offenses attributed to him, he must end his life in prison.

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