Former Israeli MK Gonen Segev Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for Iran

They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Psalms 62:4 (The Israel Bible™)

In a potentially embarrassing revelation, it has been widely reported that last month the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) arrested former Energy and Infrastructure Minister and MK, Gonen Segev – who served in the role from 1995-1996 as a member of the secular right-wing Tzomet Party – on charges of aiding the enemy in time of war and espionage against the State of Israel.

According to the Shin Bet, Segev is accused of providing Tehran with sensitive information about locations of security centers, Israel’s energy industry and about diplomatic and security officials. Israelis are used to the Mossad and other intelligence services pulling off extraordinary feats of espionage, whether in the shape of targeted assassinations on foreign soil or the theft of thousands of documents relating to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, so although these allegations are not the first of their kind, they are also not that common.

If Segev is convicted of the charges laid against him, there is some speculation among lawyers that he could either potentially face the death penalty or life imprisonment. To-date, Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann – who was convicted of crimes against humanity – is the only individual whom the state of Israel has executed.

It was at the Iranian embassy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, that Iranian intelligence officers first contacted Segev and he reportedly traveled to Iran to meet with his handlers, in addition to other rendezvous in safe houses and hotels, where he received encryption equipment to communicate with Iranian agents. He also stands accused of trying to inveigle Israeli security, defense and diplomacy individuals into meeting Iranian agents, whom he claimed were businessmen.

“In order to perform the missions that he had been assigned by his handlers, Segev maintained contacts with Israeli citizens in the foreign affairs and security fields. Segev worked to put some of these Israeli citizens in contact with Iranian intelligence agents by misleading the former and presenting the latter as innocent Iranian businessmen,” the Shin Bet said.

The Shin Bet arrested the disgraced former minister – who was jailed for five years in 2004 for attempting to smuggle thousands of ecstasy tablets into Israel – when he was extradited from Equatorial Guinea, after the central African country refused him entry due to his criminal record.

Segev, through his lawyers, has denied the presence of either ideological or financial motives in helping Iran amid claims that he did not hand over any classified information. He is also said to have suggested that his alleged espionage did not help the Islamic Republic of Iran, but in fact, was an effort to help Israel – which the Shin Bet dismissed.

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