Alleged ultra-Orthodox Israeli spy for Iran indicted

Aug. 1, 2013 at 7:25 AM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- An Israeli citizen, a member of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, was charged in a Jerusalem court Thursday with allegedly offering to spy for Iran.

The 47-year-old Jerusalem resident was arrested by the Shin Bet and Israeli police last month. He was indicted in Jerusalem District Court on charges of treason, contacting an Iranian agent and intention to betray the state of Israel, Israel Radio reported.

A gag order imposed on the investigation was lifted by the court. The charge sheet said the suspect decided to offer his services to Iran, Israel Radio and Maariv reported.

Using the Internet, the suspect searched for the locations of Iranian Embassies abroad and in January 2011 visited the Iranian Embassy in Berlin.

He allegedly asked to meet with embassy staff after identifying himself as an Israeli and later met with three people inside the embassy. There, the charge sheet alleges, he explained as a member of the ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta, he did not recognize the state of Israel and also expressed willingness to "murder a Zionist."

He was given an email address and the embassy telephone number and told to maintain contact to receive orders.

The suspect returned to Israel some 2 1/2 weeks later, accessed the email several times and also telephoned the embassy, using public phones to evade authorities. There was no mention whether the suspect handed over any intelligence.

The Neturei Karta sect rejects Zionism and opposes the existence of the state of Israel. On Israel Independence Day celebrations, sect members hang up black flags.

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Topics: Israel Radio
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