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Israeli nuclear whistle-blower faces new charges over release terms

Vanunu was jailed in 1986 for disclosing inner workings of Israel's Dimona nuclear plant, spent 10 years in solitary confinement
Mordechai Vanunu, moments after his release from prison in 2004. After 18 years behind bars, Vanunu said he was "proud and happy" to have blown whistle on Israel's nuclear programme .

Israeli prosecutors charged nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu on Sunday with violating the terms of his release, more than a decade after he completed an 18-year jail term, the Justice Ministry said.

Israel is the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons. It has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of the Dimona plant in the Negev desert of southern Israel. 

The former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel's Dimona nuclear plant to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.

Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, some of which he has violated in recent years, the indictment read.

According to the charge sheet, Vanunu in 2013 met with two US nationals in Jerusalem without having permission to do so.

In 2014, he moved to a different flat in his apartment building and failed to inform police.

And in 2015, he granted an interview to Channel 2 television, in which he relayed to the interviewer "classified information that was by cut out by censors," read the indictment served at Jerusalem magistrates' court.

Days after the interview, Vanunu was questioned by police at the request of the Shin Bet security service, according to the Times of Israel. A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge then ordered him to a week of house arrest, and ordered him not to use the internet or talk to journalists.

In the 2015 interview, Vanunu said he no longer has any secrets to spill and just wants to join his new bride in Norway, theology professor Kristin Joachimsen, whom he married at a Lutheran church in Jerusalem in May that year.

Vanunu, 61, converted to Christianity shortly before being snatched by Mossad agents in Rome and smuggled to Israel.

He has been barred from emigrating on the grounds that he still poses a threat to national security.

In 2010, he was jailed for 11 weeks after breaking the terms of his release by meeting a foreigner, a prison official said.