Italians Seek Vanunu's Return

Italian activists have launched an effort to pressure Israel to return Mordechai Vanunu to Rome, where he was kidnapped 13 years ago after revealing Israeli nuclear secrets.

After telling his story to the London Sunday Times in September, 1986, the former nuclear technician was lured by a female agent to Rome, where other Israeli operatives beat and drugged him and returned him to Israel in a freighter.

An Italian magistrate, Domenico Sica, ruled in 1988 that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Vanunu had been abducted.

"Sica's report was little more than a whitewash," British actress Susannah York told a Rome meeting in late April.

Giovanni Russo, an Italian senator, promised to work in parliament for a reopening of the investigation. Fabio Marcelli, an expert in international law, said the abduction would have been legitimate only if Vanunu had been charged with crimes against humanity. He was convicted of espionage and treason.

Vanunu earlier had filed a motion in Israel for return to the scene of his kidnapping. It was rejected in June by Israel's High Court of Justice.