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Nuke whistleblower Vanunu appeals to leave Israel

By Yuval Yoaz and Reuters
Ha'aretz, 03/06/2004

Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu petitioned the High Court of Justice on Thursday to let him leave the country, saying restrictions he has been under since his release from prison in April were unjustified. The petition was filed by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel.

It argues that Vanunu poses no threat to national security and should be allowed to leave Israel. It also disputes other restrictions imposed on Vanunu, including restrictions on travel within Israel and a clause which requires Vanunu to request permission before speaking to foreign nationals.

Vanunu was jailed in 1986 after discussing his work with a British newspaper. His revelations to the Sunday Times led independent experts to conclude Israel had amassed between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons.

Vanunu has been living in a Jerusalem church since his release on April 21. He expressed a desire to settle in the United States or Europe.

In an interview conducted by an Israeli intermediary and broadcast on the BBC on Sunday, Vanunu said he blew the whistle about Israel's nuclear program because he wanted to save the country from a nuclear holocaust.

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