Israel ex-minister sentenced to 11 years for spying for Iran | News





A former Israeli minister has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday for spying for regional rival Iran, the prosecutor said, after admitting to the charges last month.

Gonen Segev was convicted in January when the Israeli justice ministry said he reached a plea deal after confessing to severe espionage and passing information to an enemy country with the purpose of harming Israel.

Prosecutor Geula Cohen confirmed to journalists outside the Jerusalem court that the judge had accepted the plea bargain and issued the sentence.

Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, was indicted in June. The Shin Bet internal security service said at the time that he was recruited by Iranian intelligence while living in Nigeria.

Investigators found that Segev made contact with officials at the Iranian embassy in Nigeria in 2012 and that he visited Iran twice for meetings with his handlers, the Shin Bet said.

Segev, who was extradited from Equatorial Guinea and arrested in May, was charged with providing Iran information about “energy market and security sites in Israel”.

The ministry said there was a gag order on further details.

Segev, a physician, was jailed in 2004 for attempting to smuggle “Ecstasy” pills into Israel and left the country in 2007 after his release from prison.

Segev served in the Labour government of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after defecting from the far right to cast the decisive vote in favour of the Oslo II peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Israel has long been locked in a shadow war with Iran, which supports armed groups in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Iran has accused Israel of sabotage and assassinations of scientists involved in its nuclear programme.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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