Convicted nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu petitioned the High Court of Justice on
Thursday with a request that Interior Minister Eli Yishai immediately revoke his
Vanunu, 56, was released from prison in 2004 after
serving an 18-year-sentence for revealing secrets about Israel’s nuclear program
to London’s Sunday Times.
Nuclear whistleblower asks to renounce citizenship
This Week in History: Vanunu convicted for treason
He filed a similar petition to the High Court
asking for his citizenship to be revoked in 1998, while still in prison. The
Interior Minister denied Vanunu’s request on the grounds that he did not have
However, the Citizenship Revocation Law passed in
March enables courts to revoke the citizenship of those convicted of crimes
against the state, including treason.
Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman,
said in the High Court petition that Vanunu should therefore now be permitted to
renounce his citizenship.
In the petition, Feldman said Vanunu is not
able to “find his place in Israeli society” because he is hounded by the media
and by the public, who still refer to him as the “nuclear spy” although he has
served his prison sentence.
Vanunu’s High Court petition follows a letter
he wrote to Yishai in May, in which he told the interior minister he no longer
wanted to live in Israel.
“I request that you set me free of Israel,
since Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel,” Vanunu wrote in his letter
A convert to Christianity, the former Dimona nuclear plant
worker has voiced his desire to leave Israel several times.
government has always denied Vanunu’s requests to leave the country, on the
grounds that he might reveal additional state secrets.
must be answered within 30 days, High Court justices ruled on Thursday.