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Israel’s Segev to Get 11 Years for Spying for Iran

Israel’s Segev to Get 11 Years for Spying for Iran

Wednesday, 9 January, 2019 - 08:15
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaks with former energy minister Gonen Segev during a conference in Jerusalem, in this file photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), obtained by Reuters on June 18, 2018. REUTERS/GPO/Handout
Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli former minister Gonen Segev, who has been charged with spying for Iran, has reached a plea bargain with prosecutors that will see him serve 11 years in prison.

The Israeli justice ministry said Wednesday that as part of the agreement, Segev, 62, will plead guilty to serious espionage and transfer of information to the enemy.

A sentencing hearing was set for February 11, the ministry said in a statement.

The trial of Segev, who served as energy and infrastructure minister from 1995 to 1996, opened in July but was held behind closed doors, with few details of the accusations publicly released.

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service said last June that Segev had been living in Nigeria and “was recruited by Iranian intelligence and served as an agent”.

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, it said, received an encrypted communications system from Iranian agents and supplied Iran with “information related to the energy sector, security sites in Israel and officials in political and security institutions”.

The ex-minister was arrested during a visit to Equatorial Guinea in May and extradited to Israel.

Segev served in the Labour government of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin after defecting from the far right to cast the decisive vote in favor of the Oslo II peace agreement with the Palestinians.

He has previously served prison time on criminal charges.

Segev, a physician, was charged in 2004 with trying to smuggle 30,000 ecstasy pills into Israel from the Netherlands using a diplomatic passport with a falsified expiry date.

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

He has also been convicted of attempted credit card fraud.

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