Vanunu guilty of violating court order

Nuclear whistleblower says verdict "proof that there's no democracy in Israel."

April 30, 2007 10:16
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The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court convicted nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on 14 counts of violating a court order to avoid contact with foreign journalists. He was also convicted of attempting to travel from Jerusalem to Bethlehem without permission. In his verdict, the judge wrote that Vanunu was well aware of the order but flagrantly violated it. Vanunu told reporters that the verdict was "additional proof that there is no democracy in Israel," adding that all he wanted was to move freely and to leave Israel. "I want to leave this country," he said. "I want to be free." In 1986, Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's main nuclear reactor, gave pictures and documents to the London-based Sunday Times that led experts to conclude that Israel had a sizable nuclear weapons arsenal, ranking it sixth in the world. Vanunu served an 18-year prison term for his disclosures.

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