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Drug-smuggling ex-Israeli minister charged with spying for Iran

Former Israeli Minister of Energy Gonen Segev has been arrested and charged with spying for Iran, the Israel Security...

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 7:03 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 7:03 PM

Former Israeli Minister of Energy Gonen Segev has been arrested and charged with spying for Iran, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) revealed on Monday.

Segev had been recruited in 2012 by Iran's embassy in Nigeria, the ISA said. The disgraced former doctor had moved to Nigeria after serving time in prison in Israel for a 2006 drug smuggling conviction. Segev had been sentenced for attempting to bring 25,000 Ecstasy pills into Israel from the Netherlands.

He was returned to Israel last month at the request of Israeli police and was detained for investigation.

According to the ISA, Segev met twice with Iranian operatives, knowing they were from Iranian intelligence. The Agency said Segev was given a communications system to encrypt messages with his handlers.

The former Energy Minister allegedly revealed information connected to Israel's energy market and security sites, including intelligence on buildings, and officials in political and security organizations, the ISA said.

He was also in touch with Israeli citizens working in security and foreign relations, the ISA said, connecting them with Iranian intelligence officials posing as regular businessmen.

Segev was charged with spying for the enemy and a number of other offenses. Additional details of the investigation are under a gag order.

A lawyer for Segev, Moshe Mazor, told CNN, "Recently, an indictment has been filed. Most of the details are confidential at the State's request. Even at this early stage, it is possible to say that the permitted publication looks extremely severe, even though in the indictment, whose full details remain confidential, an entirely different picture emerges."

Segev served in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, from 1992-1996 in the Tzomet and Yi-ud political parties. He served as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, from 1995-1996.

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