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Israel Ex-Minister to Get 11 Years for Spying for Iran

10 January 2019

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".

Former Israeli cabinet minister Gonen Segev is to be jailed for 11 years after he admitted spying for Iran, Israel's justice ministry says.

The Shin Bet accused Segev in a statement at the time of providing Iran with "information related to the energy market, security sites in Israel, buildings and officials in political and security bodies, and more" while he was living in Nigeria between 2012 and his arrest in May past year.

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.

The 63-year-old will be formally sentenced at a hearing on 11 February.

Gonen Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, was indicted in June. The remaining details of the case are under gag order, the ministry said. He worked to put the Israeli officials in contact with Iranian intelligence elements, while trying to deceive them and present the Iranians as innocuous businessmen.

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The report added that Segev told interrogators that he did not hand over any classified information to his Iranian handlers and that he had no ideological or financial motive to help an enemy state.

The former minister lived in Nigeria for almost 10 years, where he practiced medicine after his license was revoked in Israel.

Segev was first elected to the 13th Knesset in 1992 as part of Rafael Eitan's Tzomet party, where he served as an opposition MK and a member of the Knesset's Finance Committee.

An initial charge of "assisting an enemy during a time of war" was removed from his indictment as part of his plea bargain. Iranian officials have referred multiple times to Israel's annihilation.

He was convicted of attempting to fraudulently obtain benefits and of credit card fraud.

He practiced medicine before entering politics, but had his license revoked after being convicted in 2005 for trying to smuggle 32,000 Ecstasy tablets into Israel from the Netherlands, Israeli media reported.

Israel Ex-Minister to Get 11 Years for Spying for Iran