Vanunu, Mordechai

(1954- )
   Israeli scientific technician who disclosed that Israel had nuclear bombs to the Sunday Times of London. The Sunday Times of 5 October 1986 ran a lengthy story under a front-page banner headline "Revealed: The Secrets of Israel's Nuclear Arsenal." On 24 March 1988, Vanunu was convicted by a Jerusalem court of espionage and treason. The lengthy trial was held in secrecy, and the only sentence made public from the court's verdict was "we decided the defendant is guilty on all three counts." Va-nunu was a nuclear technician who left Israel with highly classified data and later was lured back to Israel and put on trial. He had worked at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor but was laid off in 1985 and shortly thereafter left Israel. Vanunu was released from prison on 24 April 2004 with a number of restrictions on speech and travel. On 11 November 2004, he was rearrested for contravening several of those restrictions, including giving interviews to the BBC. Considered by international human rights activists to be a prisoner of conscience, he is viewed by many Israelis as a traitor. On 7 January 2008, Vanunu was re-sentenced to six months of community service for contravening the terms of his parole from prison.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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