A Day In Court

Mordechai Vanunu went to court on May 13, represented by his attorney, Avigdor Feldman, regarding several legal matters.

One proceeding concerned Vanunu's request to meet with his two British attorneys. It was held in camera because the prisoner refused to promise not to speak to the audience in a public hearing.

A second, longer hearing before the Israeli Supreme Court addressed Vanunu's request to review the full transcripts of his trial, and his related desire to prohibit publication of a chapter about his case in a forthcoming book by two Israeli writers. Vanunu wants to confirm whether the authors had access to trial materials that he has not been permitted to see. An Israeli newspaper compelled the public release of some portions of the transcripts in 1999.

A lower court upheld the state's claim that only Vanunu's attorney would be allowed to review the transcripts. At the May 13 appeal hearing, Avigdor Feldman had a lengthy exchange with the chair of the tribunal regarding whether it is permissible to violate someone's right to read the transcripts of their own trial. Feldman argued that such a stand is absurd and illegal.

At press time, there has been no decision announced on these matters, nor a ruling on Vanunu's request for reconsideration of his petition for early release from prison.