October Parole Hearing Postponed

Mordechai Vanunu's parole hearing scheduled for October 29 was postponed, reportedly due to the judge's illness. The hearing was rescheduled for November 24.

Members of the British Campaign to Free Vanunu, the National Union of Journalists, and acress Susannah York (4th from left), deliver a letter to the Israeli Embassy in London on October 28, the day before Vanunu's parole hearing (later postponed).
Photo by Molly Cooper
Vanunu's lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, had subpoenaed then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to appear before the parole tribunal. Feldman hoped to question Peres about an interview he gave last year on Israeli television in which Peres talked about his country's capability to manufacture nuclear weapons. Feldman argues that for insider Peres to so openly talk about Israel's nuclear program disproved the notion that Vanunu - a mere technician nearly two decades ago - could still reveal information that would be detrimental to state security.

The parole board said that Peres cannot be subpoenaed for the November hearing, but they will reconsider the request later. A preliminary hearing will be held in December on Vanunu's libel suit against the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. The paper wrote in 1999 that Vanunu had shared nuclear secrets with Palestinian prisoners - a charge refuted even by the prison warden.

In the past few months, in addition to visits from his brother Asher and the Eoloffs, Mordechai has been visited by an Episcopal priest and one or two people from the Israeli government. He is in good spirits, and very much looking forward to the day when he is finally free.

He greatly appreciates hearing from supporters around the world. You can write a note to Dr. Mordechai Vanunu and mail it to him at Ashkelon Prison, Ashkelon, Israel.