Court dismisses Vanunu libel suit against "Yediot Ahronot"

Mordechai Vanunu sued “Yediot Ahronot” for a 1999 article alleging he gave bomb-making information to Hamas security prisoners.

The Tel Aviv District Court dismissed the libel suit submitted by Mordechai Vanunu against Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot", publisher Arnon Mozes, editor-in-chief Moshe Vardi, and journalist Ron Ben Yishai, after Vanunu's attorney, Avigdor Feldman, failed to appear in court.

Vanunu was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of espionage for providing confidential information about Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona to "The Sunday Times" of London.

In September 2000, Vanunu sued “Yediot Ahronot” for NIS 30 million over a front page, lead article published by the newspaper in November 1999. The article's headline was, "Vanunu gave Hamas activists information on bomb assembly in prison". A second-page insert entitled, "He's done it again", stated that Vanunu sent messages containing bomb-making information to security prisoners belonging to Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Vanunu claims that the article's content are a total fabrication and libeled him by creating the impression that he actively aided enemies of the State and terrorist organizations. Vanunu petitioned the court to waive legal fees. His petition was rejected on the grounds that he failed to provide any documentary evidence of his inability to pay the fees in his statement.

Published by Israel's Business Arena on ‎11‎ June April 2001

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