The man, who in 1986 lifted the lid on Israel’s nuclear secrets, has been placed under house arrest ahead of an expected indictment following his meeting with a Norwegian woman.
Mordechai Vanunu was detained by authorities in Jerusalem for breaching a ban imposed on contact with all foreigners. His defence has argued that the meeting was no more than a romantic liaison and did not relate to any nuclear issues, says a report by the Irish Times.
“This Jewish state has 200 atomic . . . hydrogen bombs, atomic weapons, neutron bomb. They are not able to say they have the bomb, they are not able to destroy anyone . . . instead they arrest Vanunu Mordechai,” said the defendant in court, where he spoke only in English as part of a continued campaign against Israeli authorities, including a boycott of the Hebrew language. Vanunu has been fighting for permission to leave Israel for over two decades.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Mr Vanunu was detained on suspicion that he met several foreigners, in violation of the conditions of his 2004 release from prison, imposed by Israel because of fears he may reveal additional nuclear secrets.
In 1986 Vanunu first came to fame after he leaked photographs and details of the Dimona nuclear plant to a British newspaper. At the time, the revelations were the first confirmed proof of Israel’s capacity for creating nuclear weapons.