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Israel extends exit ban on nuke leaker Vanunu

By Staff
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JERUSALEM, Apr 20 (Reuters) Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu faces another year of confinement to Israel after the government extended a travel ban imposed when he was released from prison in 2004, his lawyer said today.

Arguing that Vanunu could spill more military secrets, Israel's Justice Ministry rejected his appeal to be allowed to leave the country on the second anniversary of his completion of an 18-year jail term for treason, attorney Michael Sfard said.

''Under law, these restrictions last a year, and we have not yet decided whether to launch another appeal during that time,'' Sfard told Reuters.

Vanunu all but blew away Israel's nuclear secrecy in 1986 by discussing his work at the Dimona atomic reactor with a British newspaper. A Jewish convert to Christianity, he says he has no more secrets to tell and wants to start a new life abroad.

The Justice Ministry had no immediate comment.

REUTERS CH BD1321

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