Trial of Former Israeli Minister Accused of Spying for Iran Begins in Jerusalem

Gonen Segev is charged with passing 'dozens of reports' to Tehran with the intention of harming national security; his trial is being held behind closed doors

Gonen Segev at the opening of his trial at the Jerusalem District Court, July 5, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

The trial of Gonen Segev, a former Israeli minister accused of spying for Iran, opened in Jerusalem on Thursday. Segev is accused of aiding the enemy during a time of war, spying and transferring secret information to the enemy.

Segev's trial at the Jerusalem District Court is being held behind closed doors as customary in sensitive cases, before a three-judge panel.

His case is under a gag order, but according to details that can be published, Segev allegedly gave the Iranians "dozens of reports" with the intention of harming Israel's national security. Segev, the indictment claims, worked for Iranian intelligence services from 2012 and met with his operators in a number of countries.

Gonen Segev at the opening of his trial.

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Segev even flew to Iran to meet Iranian intelligence officials and provided them with information about Israel. The information he supplied, the indictment claims, was knowledge he had from his time serving as Israel's energy minister. He allegedly helped locate bases and key institutions in Israel's defense establishment, as well as naming intelligence officials. It further claimed that Segev was asked to serve as an Iranian agent and knowingly did so.

Segev, a doctor by profession, was a Knesset member who served as energy and infrastructure minister from 1992 to 1995.

Gonen Segev, accused of providing Iranian intelligence with 'dozens of reports,' at the Jerusalem District Court, July 5, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

Until last month he lived in Nigeria. He has been arrested in Israel after being deported by the police in Equatorial Guinea, where he moved in May.

According to security experts, some of the material Segev is said to have passed on to the Iranians beginning in 2012 could have become irrelevant because of the many years since he held office in Israel. But the information he had on people with whom he had personal relationships in Nigeria is of extreme importance in his alleged spying and information-gathering work for Iran.

Segev already served a five-year jail term after being convicted in 2005 of smuggling ecstasy tablets into Israel and forging a diplomatic passport.