Former Israeli Lawmaker Who Smuggled Ecstasy Accused of Spying for Iran

Former energy minister Gonen Segev seen at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem for the appeal on his prison sentence

Ex-minister of energy and infrastructure Gonen Segev has been charged with espionage and aiding the enemy in wartime, Russian RT reported on Monday.

"Over the course of our investigations, we learned that Segev had been employed as a spy after being recruited by Iranian intelligence", the statement read.

Segev was reportedly handed over to Israel by the authorities of Equitorial Guinea in May, after Segev attempted to relocate to the African country from Nigeria, where he had resided for several years.

Upon arriving in Israel, Segev was detained for investigation by the ISA and the Israel Police pursuant to information which indicated that Segev was in contact with elements in Iranian intelligence and was assisting them vis-à-vis their activity against the State of Israel. The Shin Bet said it discovered that Mr. Segev started working for Iran in 2012 after being approached by Iranians stationed at the country's embassy in Nigeria. Segev even received secret communications equipment for encoding messages between him and his handlers.

In order to obtain information, Segev maintained contact with Israeli citizens in the defense, security, and diplomatic sectors.

The agency alleges that Segev gave information "connected to the energy market and security sites in Israel including buildings and officials in political and security organisations".

Segev tried to connect some of his Israeli acquaintances with Iranian intelligence, presenting the Iranian agents as innocent businessmen. All further details pertaining to the case have been placed under gag order.

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"Even at this early stage, it is possible to say that the indictment paints a different picture from the one shown in the (Shin Bet) statement", they said.

He served a five-year sentence for attempting to smuggle thousands of ecstasy pills from Amsterdam to Israel, claiming he thought they were M&Ms. Its particulars are mostly confidential at the state's request.

The Iranian government did not immediately comment Monday on Segev's indictment.

Segev, a former parliament member with the right-wing party of Tzomet, served as Israeli minister of energy and infrastructure between 1994 and 1996. He studied medicine at Ben Gurion University in Israel's negev region.

He was released from prison in 2007, before moving to west Africa.

Former Israeli energy minister Gonen Segev (C) appears at the Tel Aviv district tribunal, April 22, 2004.

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