Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu Convicted of Violating Parole

Jerusalem court convicts the man who spent 18 years behind bars of holding unauthorized meetings with two American citizens three years ago and failing to report his move to another apartment inside the same building.

Mordechai Vanunu
An archive photo from July 2, 2007, showing nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. Eli Tesma / Bau Bau

Jerusalem Magistrates Court has convicted Mordechai Vanunu of violating restraining orders imposed since his release a decade ago after spending 18 years in prison for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets to the media.

In its verdict on Monday the court also acquitted Vanunu of violating two other orders.

Vanunu had been jailed for leaking information to the media from his place of employment at the Dimona nuclear reactor in the 1980s. 

The restraining orders barred Vanunu from meeting with foreign citizens, required him to report about any change of address and barred him from reporting any information he had received as a reactor employee.

The indictment accused him of three violations: Holding unauthorized meetings with two American citizens in Jerusalem three years ago, and changing his address without notification, for moving to a different apartment in the same building and reporting about it as part of an interview with Channel 2 television.

Regarding the change of address Judge Yaron Mintikovich called it a "minor change of moving from one apartment to another inside the same building."

The judge called it a technical violation rather than criminal. He was acquitted of a third offense because the state had failed to prove that he had found out about information he provided to Channel 2 while working at the reactor, rather than afterwards.

No sentence was immediately given.