JERUSALEM — A former Israeli government minister, who served jail time a decade ago for smuggling ecstasy, was indicted last week by state prosecutors for “assisting the enemy in war and spying against the State of Israel,” the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police said in a statement Monday.
Gonen Segev, who served as energy and infrastructure minister from 1992 to 1995, was allegedly providing Iranian intelligence agents with sensitive information connected to Israel’s energy market and security sites, said the security agency, also known as the Shin Bet.
Segev, who is also a physician, spent two years in jail for trying to smuggle more than 30,000 ecstasy tablets into Israel from the Netherlands and forging a diplomatic passport, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. He was released in 2007.
Segev had been living in Nigeria since his release, the Shin Bet said, but he was deported to Israel last month after attempting to enter Guinea, which denied him entry because of his criminal past and turned him over to Israeli authorities.
In its statement, the Shin Bet said Israeli authorities questioned Segev about his contacts with Iranian intelligence agents, with whom he initially met twice in 2012. Later, he met with them “around the world in hotels and apartments used for secret Iranian activity,” the security agency said.
“Segev received a secret communications system to encrypt messages between him and his operators,” the Shin Bet said. “The investigation also revealed that Segev gave his operators information connected to the energy market and security sites in Israel, including buildings and officials in political and security organizations.”
To carry out the tasks set by his Iranian operators, the agency said, Segev forged connections with Israeli citizens working in Israel's security and foreign relations fields. All further information on the case remains under a court-imposed gag order.
Goldfarb Seligman & Co., a Tel Aviv law firm representing Segev, said that from the information detailed in the indictment, which remains confidential because of the gag order, “a different picture emerges.”