Police detain nuclear whistleblower Vanunu
Thu., November 11, 2004 Cheshvan 27, 5765
Last Update: 11/11/2004 12:25 Police detain nuclear
whistleblower Vanunu By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz
Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
The police international investigations unit detained
nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on Thursday
morning for questioning related to an ongoing probe
examining suspicions he leaked national secrets and
violated legal rulings since his release from prison.
Prior to Vanunu's detention, police searched his room
in the east Jerusalem hostel in which he is staying.
Officers confiscated documents and other materials.
The search of Vanunu's room and the investigation
itself are being conducted at the direction of the
attorney general and in coordination with the state
Vanunu ended an 18-year prison term for treason in
April, but was barred from leaving Israel. Security
sources had said he was under surveillance on
suspicion of giving unauthorized interviews to foreign
In an interview with a Greek radio station in late
September, the Vanunu said that he does not feel safe
in Israel, and wishes to leave the country as soon as
possible. Vanunu also used the interview to reiterate
his attacks on Israel's nuclear policies.
"The United States is pushing Iran with respect to its
nuclear weapons program. It needs to do the same thing
to Israel," he stated. "You can't focus on Iran and
forget about Israel."
The former prisoner, who was imprisoned on charges of
spying and treason, also dealt with Israel's nuclear
secrets in the interview. "There are still nuclear
weapons materials in Israel, and I believe that during
the past 18 years, more have been built," he said.
Several months ago, authorities opened a criminal
investigation against Vanunu for granting an interview
to the BBC and the Sunday Times weeks after his
release, in light of security issues, since Vanunu had
discussed secret knowledge he had been forbidden to
discuss in the interview.
"Vanunu has flagrantly violated the conditions of his
release in granting this interview," stated police
sources. "Something must be done to stop this."