JERUSALEM, Israel – On Monday, Israelis learned that a former Knesset member and cabinet minister was indicted on charges of spying for Iran.
The Jerusalem District Court charged Gonen Segev, 62, with "assisting the enemy in war and spying against the State of Israel," among other espionage-related charges, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed.
Segev was arrested in May after Guinea refused him entry because of his criminal record and extradited him to Israel.
The shocking news came exactly 50 days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's dramatic presentation of documents smuggled out of Tehran by the Mossad (Israel's secret service) confirming Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Former Energy Minister Dr. Gonen Segev and the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Photo, GPO archive, Sa'ar Ya'acov
Segev, a pediatrician, served as energy and infrastructure minister from 1992 to 1995 under former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 2004, Segev was arrested on drug-smuggling charges. He was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to five years in prison. In 2007 he was released after revoking his medical license. He relocated to Nigeria where he lived for about 15 years.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Shakes Hands with Energy Minister Dr. Gonen Segev upon Returning from Signing the Oslo Accords in Washington, DC, Photo, GPO archive, Sa'ar Ya'acov
According to the Shin Bet, Segev's first contact with Iranian officials took place in 2012 at Iran's Embassy in Nigeria. Following those initial meetings, he reportedly made two secret trips to Iran to meet with the Iranian intelligence officials who became his handlers. Following that, they began to meet in other countries where Segev provided them with information on Israel's energy and security sectors, names and contact information of government officials, and a variety of other information.
He was given a communications device that allowed him to send encrypted messages. He reportedly kept in touch with a number of Israelis under the guise of doing business with his Iranian contacts.
Following Monday's indictment, the court issued a gag order on further details of the case.