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Security sources: Vanunu applied for passport

By Yossi Melman, Ha'aretz Correspondent
March 10 2004
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/403397.html

Jailed nuclear whistle-blower, Mordechai Vanunu, submitted a request for a passport with the Israel Prison Service three weeks ago, security sources told Haaretz Wednesday.

Vanunu is set to complete his 18 year prison sentence on April 21.

The Prisons Service transferred Vanunu's request to the chief security officer of the Defense Ministry, Yehiel Horev, and the Shin Bet security service, but the application never reached the only body authorized to issue Israeli citizens with passports, the Interior Ministry, as it is being held up by the Shin Bet.

An Interior Ministry official confirmed Wednesday that no application from Vanunu had been received, and that any such application would be weighed in conjunction with the relevant security officials.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz is due to rule in the coming days what restrictions will be placed on Vanunu after he is released on April 21. Mazuz and Justice Minister Yosef Lapid have both hinted of late at various government forums that the main restriction likely to be imposed on the former nuclear technician is a blanket ban on overseas travel. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that he will be issued a passport, and an appeal to the High Court of Justice is almost certain to follow.

Even before Vanunu's release from prison, however, there are already differences of opinion between Mazuz and Horev as to how Vanunu's freedom will be restricted. Horev, whose proposals to re-arrest Vanunu on an administrative detention order or to place him under house arrest have already been rejected by the prime minister, the defense minister and the attorney general, is seeking to ensure that a wide-ranging package of restriction is in place when Vanunu finally leaves jail.


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