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Vanunu faces court -

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Vanunu faces court

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

TONY JONES: Mordechai Vanunu, the man labelled a traitor for revealing details of Israel's nuclear
weapons program, has faced court, charged with 21 violations of the restrictions placed on him when
he was released from prison last year. The former nuclear technician was jailed for 18 years, 11 of
them were spent in solitary confinement. Since his release, Vanunu has continued to criticise the
Israeli Government, including in an interview on Lateline last year. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Mordechai Vanunu could be jailed for up to two years for breaking a
military-imposed gag aimed at preventing him from speaking to foreigners. Today he didn't enter a
plea, but spoke out against the Government yet again.

MORDECHAI VANUNU, NUCLEAR WHISTLEBLOWER: I hope the Israel Government and the Israeli justice will
understand they are only causing damage to themselves by bringing me back to court.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Vanunu spent 18 years in prison after being found guilty of treason for
revealing details to an English newspaper about his former workplace, Israel's Dimona nuclear
facility. He was released last year, after serving his full term and promised to keep speaking
about Israel's nuclear weapons. Overnight, an Israeli magistrate's court was told Vanunu had
breached the restrictions placed on him 21 times since his release. These referred to interviews
with foreign media, including this one on Lateline, where he pushed the limits of the gag.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I think they realise that they have to respect the freedom of speech and all what
I'm saying is only expressing my views. I don't have any secrets. All the secrets have been
published 18 years ago. They cannot use the excuse of security to silence and take the freedom of
speech from anyone.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Today Mordechai Vanunu is sticking to that ideal, but after the restrictions on
him were renewed ahead of the first anniversary of his release he is keen to leave Israel.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: All what I did until now was just speaking, expressing my views. I don't have any
more secrets. Even they, what they are charging me with today is not about military secrets, it's
about meeting foreigners. So what?

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The former nuclear technician spent several months in Australia and converted
to Christianity in Sydney in 1986. Vanunu's supporters here remain close to him.

MORDECHAI VANUNU (phone conversation): Hello.

DAVID SMITH, MORDECHAI VANUNU SUPPORTER: Morde, it's David! How are you my friend?

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Father Dave Smith is an Anglican priest in Sydney who helped Vanunu convert. He
says his friend still feels like he's in jail.

DAVID SMITH: I mean he served his time completely. He wasn't given any early parole, he served his
full 18 years. One would have thought in a democratic society, supposedly, he'd now be free, but
he's not really free.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Vanunu's defence wants the case dropped and an Israeli court will decide
whether or not to proceed with a trial on May 19. Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.