Tue. Jul 23 2019

Israeli ex-minister sentenced to 11 years for spying for Iran

Feb 27 2019

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A former Israeli minister has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday for spying for regional rival Iran, after admitting to the charges last month.

Gonen Segev was convicted in January when the Israeli justice ministry said he reached a plea deal after confessing to severe espionage and passing information to an enemy country with the purpose of harming Israel.

Israeli prosecutor Geula Cohen confirmed to journalists outside the Jerusalem court that the judge had accepted the plea bargain and issued the sentence.

Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, was indicted in June. The Shin Bet internal security service said at the time that he was recruited by Iranian intelligence while living in Nigeria.

Investigators found that Segev made contact with officials at the Iranian embassy in Nigeria in 2012 and that he visited Iran twice for meetings with his handlers, the Shin Bet said.

Segev, who was extradited from Equatorial Guinea and arrested in May, was charged with providing Iran information about "energy market and security sites in Israel".

The ministry said there was a gag order on further details.

Segev, a physician, was jailed in 2004 for attempting to smuggle "Ecstasy" pills into Israel and left the country in 2007 after his release from prison.

Segev served in the Labor government of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after defecting from the far right to cast the decisive vote in favor of the Oslo II peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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