Israel ex-minister to get 11 years for spying for Iran

10 Janvier, 2019, 17:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Gonen Segev seen at the Jerusalem District Court

The director general for counter-espionage at the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said the premier's "delusional" comments were meant to ease "the most intense internal and foreign pressure" on him "due to leaks about an Israeli minister spying for Iran as well as the large-scale infiltration of the Zionist regime's intelligence services by those of the Islamic Republic of Iran".

Under a plea bargain with prosecutors, ex-Israeli energy minister Gonen Segev accused of spying for Iran has agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges against him and serve a prison term of over a decade.

He was allegedly given a classified communications system to send coded messages and passed on "information related to the energy sector, security sites in Israel and officials in political and security institutions". He was first contacted by Iranian embassy officials in Nigeria in 2012, and at a later stage traveled to Iran twice for meetings with his handlers-while being fully aware they belonged to Iranian intelligence.

The Jerusalem District Court set a sentencing hearing for February 11. The charge of "assisting the enemy in its war against Israel" was deleted from the amended indictment, but despite Segev's cooperation, the Prosecution insisted on a double-digit sentence.

The former minister lived in Nigeria for almost 10 years, where he practiced medicine after his license was revoked in Israel.

Segev was elected to the 13th Israeli parliament (Knesset) in 1992.

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Under the plea deal, the case against Segev underwent "massive" alterations, including changes to facts and charges faced, his attorneys said on Wednesday.

Segev said he expected to return to Israel in triumph after duping his Iranian handlers.

The following year, he admitted the charges as part of a plea bargain.

Segev served as energy minister under former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in the mid-1990s and was previously jailed for trying to smuggle ecstasy tablets into the country.

The former minister tried to link his Iranian operators with Israelis with whom he was in contact so that the Iranian agents could dig out information from his victims, without mentioning to his Israeli victims that they were dealing with Iranian officers.

"I wanted to fool the Iranians and come back to Israel a hero", he was quoted as saying during his interrogation. He has always been disgraced in Israel after being convicted in 2005 of attempting to smuggle 32,000 chocolate-covered ecstasy pills. He was also convicted of credit card fraud for falsely claiming his card had gone missing, then using it to withdraw money, media reported.

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