Minister Cool to Early Release

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Justice Ministry has rejected hundreds of appeals from Israel and abroad calling for the early release of Mordechai Vanunu.

In a letter written for Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, attorney Tamar D. Goulan cited charges that Vanunu continues to possess nuclear secrets that could endanger Israel. She wrote:

"Mordechai Vanunu cannot possibly be released from imprisonment as this is contrary to the principles of an orderly society which must be able to protect itself against serious offenders."

Beilin has been regarded as one of the more liberal members of the Barak cabinet on matters affecting Vanunu.