TEL AVIV (May. 28)
Israel’s High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected an appeal by convicted spy Mordechai Vanunu against his 1988 conviction and sentence to 18 years in prison for spying and treason.
The appeal was held behind closed doors, and the three-judge panel allowed publication of only the final paragraph of its 89-page decision, which read: “The court has decided in a detailed opinion to reject the appeal made in this case, regarding both the conviction and punishment.”
The court is to meet again within 30 days to decide whether to allow publication of the entire appeal rejection or even parts of it, or whether overriding security considerations should continue to prevail and thus dictate censorship.
Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said his client was “bitterly disappointed” by the court’s decision, and he was considering making another appeal before a seven-judge panel.
Feldman reportedly told the court that his client’s furnishing details of Israel’s top-secret nuclear facility in Dimona to a foreign newspaper, the London Sunday Times, could not be regarded as “espionage” and “treason,” as he had not passed the information to the enemy.