Former minister arrested on suspicion of spying for Iran

Israel charges ex-minister Gonen Segev with spying for Iran

Israel charges ex-minister Gonen Segev with spying for Iran

A former Israeli lawmaker has been accused of spying for Iran after being caught passing sensitive information to sources in Tehran, including details about Israel's energy sector and the identities of government officials, its Shin Bet security service announced Monday.

According to the statement, Segev tried to fool Israelis with connections to fields of interest to the Iranians into meeting with intelligence agents whom he presented as businessmen.

Police in Equatorial Guinea had refused Segev entry to the country because of his criminal record, and handed him over to Israeli police.

Segev was reportedly handed over to Israel by the authorities of Equitorial Guinea in May, after Segev attempted to relocate to the African country from Nigeria, where he had resided for several years. According to investigators, Segev had been cultivated as an asset by sources in the Iranian embassy in Nigeria. Segev was given a "secret communications system to encrypt messages" with his operators. He's accused of providing Iran with information on Israel's energy industry and security sites, as well as political and defense officials.

In order to meet the tasks he received from his handlers, Segev maintained ties with Israeli citizens who are related to Israel's security and foreign relations.

Former Israel minister Dr. Gonen Segev was arrested by ShinBet and charged with espionage for Iran.


"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 even twice visited Iran, and there met with his Iranian leaders.

But Segev's lawyers, Eli Zohar and Moshe Mazor, said some of the allegations in the Shin Bet statement were overblown.

In 2004, after having been convicted of credit card fraud (debit card), he was arrested on his return from Amsterdam on suspicion of smuggling the drug ecstasy into Israel. He studied medicine at Ben Gurion University in Israel's negev region.

In February 1994, Segev split from his righwing Tzomet party to eventually become Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in PM Yitzhak Rabin's government.

Segev was energy minister for 18 months in the mid-1990s.

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