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Supreme Court denies Vanunu’s request to leave Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a request by Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison for disclosing Israeli nuclear secrets, to leave Israel.

Vanunu, who was released from prison in 2004, was jailed in Israel for discussing details of his work as a technician at the Dimona nuclear facility with the Sunday Times of London. He reportedly revealed Israeli nuclear secrets and gave the newspaper photographs of the plant’s operations.

Under the terms of his parole, Vanunu is prohibited from leaving Israel, visiting the West Bank, or approaching foreign embassies and speaking with foreign nationals.

Sunday’s decision by the Supreme Court is the seventh time since his release from prison that the restrictions have been extended.

Vanunu told the court he no longer wants to live in Israel. “I cannot live here as a convicted spy, a traitor, an enemy and a Christian,” he said, according to the Times of Israel. Vanunu converted to Christianity in the 1980s.

His attorney told the court that any information Vanunu has about Israel’s nuclear program is very outdated.

The three-judge panel ruled that the state had successfully demonstrated that the restrictions should remain in place but that they should continue to be reviewed periodically.

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