Ex-Israeli minister gets 11 years in jail 'over spying for Iran'

TEL AVIV — Former Israeli energy minister Gonen Segev has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of spying for Iran.

The Jerusalem (al-Quds) District Court approved on Tuesday Segev’s plea bargain, under which he admitted to charges of serious espionage and transfer of information to the enemy.

In exchange, Israeli prosecutors dropped the more serious charge of aiding the enemy against the ex-minister.

Prosecutors Geula Cohena and Rachel Aharoni Zeevi said in a statement, “The indictment which Segev confessed to as part of the plea bargain included grave crimes of spying and providing information to an enemy with the intent of harming national security.”

They further noted that Segev had secretly met his handlers in Iran and other countries.

“Segev confessed that he acted on behalf of the Iranian intelligence forces for five years, maintained regular communications with his handlers using a clandestine channel and that he provided them a diverse range of information - including top secret information,” the prosecutors added.

Ex-Israeli energy minister Segev accused of spying for Iran agrees to plead guilty to reduced charges and serve 11 years in jail.
Segev was elected to the 13th Israeli parliament (Knesset) in 1992. He also served as the regime’s energy and infrastructure minister from 1995 to 1996.

Last June, Israel’s so-called Security Agency, better known by the acronym Shabak or the Shin Bet, said that Segev had been arrested a month earlier on suspicion of committing the offenses of assisting the enemy in a time of war and of spying against Tel Aviv.

An investigation by the Shin Bet and the police found that Segev had acted as an agent on behalf of the Iranian intelligence, made contact with officials in the Iranian Embassy in Nigeria in 2012 and visited Iran twice to meet intelligence officials.

It also found that Segev had met with his Iranian operators around the world and received a secret communications system to encrypt the messages between himself and his operators.

During his interrogation in June 2018, the ex-Israeli minister admitted to having established links with Iranian officials, but claimed that he had had no ideological or financial reason to spy for Iran.

Israeli media and observers interpreted the developments as a victory for the Iranian intelligence services.

Tehran has not officially confirmed the espionage reports. However, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry made an apparent reference to reports of Segev’s espionage for Tehran in December 2018, while responding to claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about spying operations inside Iran.

The director general for counter-espionage at the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said the premier’s “delusional” comments were meant to ease “the most intense internal and foreign pressure” on him “due to leaks about an Israeli minister spying for Iran as well as the large-scale infiltration of the Zionist regime’s intelligence services by those of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.