Nuclear secrets-spiller Vanunu invited to live in Norway with his wife

Nuclear secrets-spiller Vanunu invited to live in Norway with his wife

Former Dimona technician, who served 18 years for leaking details of Israel’s nuclear program, is currently banned from leaving the country

Kristin Joachimsen with Mordechai Vanunu (Facebook)
Kristin Joachimsen with Mordechai Vanunu (Facebook)

Norway has granted Israeli nuclear secret-spiller Mordechai Vanunu permission to immigrate so he can be united with his Norwegian wife.

Vanunu’s wife, Kristin Joachimsen, told Norway’s TV2 channel Friday the couple requested family reunification after they wed in May 2015. Norway’s Directorate of Immigration confirmed permission had been granted.

Joachimsen, a theology professor, said: “Family values have prevailed.”

It wasn’t clear when or whether he would be allowed to relocate, however. Vanunu is banned by Israel from leaving the country.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry could not say if Vanunu had made a new request to travel to Norway. But he said restrictions on the the leaker’s freedom of movement were “due to the danger that he posed” to the Jewish state.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: “Israel will continue to review updates of the situation in order to determine appropriate restrictions in accordance with security dangers posed by Vanunu.”

Joachimsen said that restriction was scheduled for review in November, and hoped he would be allowed to leave. “We have waited long enough for the case to be solved on Israel’s side,” she said.

Vanunu served 18 years in prison for leaking details and pictures of an alleged Israeli nuclear weapons program to a British newspaper. He sought asylum in Norway after his 2004 release.

Israel banned him from speaking with foreigners and leaving the country, among other restrictions.

Israel neither confirms nor denies its nuclear weapons capability.

Mordechai Vanunu seen at a Jerusalem Supreme Court hearing on January 30, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In July, Vanunu was sentenced to 120 hours’ community service for talking to foreigners in violation of his release conditions.

Vanunu was also given a two-month suspended sentence. He was convicted in January by the Jerusalem magistrate’s Court of breaching the terms of his release from prison when he met with two US nationals in Jerusalem in 2013 without having permission to do so.

At the time of his conviction, his lawyer told the court the meeting was a chat lasting “minutes” in a coffee shop with doctors visiting Israel.

He was cleared of two other charges, one of which related to an interview he gave to Israel’s Channel 2 television in 2015.

Mordechai Vanunu, Channel 2, September 4, 2015 (Channel 2 screenshot)

Channel 2 said that while all the material broadcast in the interview had been approved by Israel’s military censor, the police had asked for the full, unedited footage of the interview, apparently because they suspected that Vanunu discussed matters he was barred from talking about.

The 62-year-old former nuclear worker was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.

1986 Sunday Times with Vanunu’s nuclear revelations

A Dimona employee from 1976 to 1985, Vanunu revealed overwhelming evidence of Israel’s nuclear program, including dozens of photographs, enabling nuclear experts to conclude that Israel had produced at least 100 nuclear warheads.

He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.

Israel has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of its Dimona plant in the southern Negev desert.

Speaking outside the courtroom after his January conviction Vanunu said that more than 30 years after he worked in the nuclear plant, he had no more to reveal to anybody. “After 18 years in prison it’s enough and more… they should let me go. All I want is freedom, that’s all.”

read more:
more less