TEL AVIV (Feb. 2)
A 35-year-old former emigre from the Soviet Union has confessed to spying for the Palestine Liberation Organization, but for money rather than for ideological reasons.
The man was remanded in custody by a Petach Tikva magistrate Thursday. His trial will be held within 10 days.
The court forbade disclosure of the man’s identity or details of the charges against him, but it is known that he worked for a government organization.
The man reportedly told the authorities he spied for money and meant no harm to Israel though he was “disappointed” with the country.
He is said to live in northern Israel with his wife and two children, a daughter, age 10, and a 5-year-old son. He was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday when he arrived from Athens.
He admitted having contacts with PLO agents in Athens and passing information to them in exchange for a promise of $1.5 million.
He told the court that when his contacts failed to pay, he went to the Israeli Consulate in Athens, disclosed he had passed information to PLO agents and answered their questions.
The man came here from the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. He was quoted as saying he became a spy because he was “fed up with the conditions in Israel.”
He said he always wanted to go to Israel, “but I have been disappointed. There are people who have made my life a misery. I have been a better citizen than those who embittered my life,” the accused told the court.
He said he “didn’t understand the seriousness and what damage I was doing.”