A former Israeli cabinet minister once jailed on drug-smuggling charges has now been convicted of spying for arch-foe Iran.
A former Israeli government minister charged with spying for archenemy Iran will serve 11 years in prison as part of a plea bargain with authorities, Israel's justice ministry said Wednesday.
According to Channel 10, Segev was lured to the Iranian embassy in Abuja under the guise of treating the children of the Iranian staff.
The Shin Bet accused Segev in a statement at the time of providing Iran with "information related to the energy market, security sites in Israel, buildings and officials in political and security bodies, and more" while he was living in Nigeria between 2012 and his arrest in May a year ago. Israeli security officials have said Segev was recruited in 2012 and twice travelled to Iran to meet with his handlers.More news: 'I'm over it:' Comedian Kevin Hart rules out hosting the Oscars
The erstwhile politician, who had once attempted to smuggle ecstasy into Israel from the Netherlands and whose medical licence had been revoked in his home country, claimed his foray into espionage had been in aid of Israel. The charge of "assisting the enemy in its war against Israel" was deleted from the amended indictment, but despite Segev's cooperation, the Prosecution insisted on a double-digit sentence.
The report added that Segev told interrogators that he did not hand over any classified information to his Iranian handlers and that he had no ideological or financial motive to help an enemy state.
Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, was indicted in June.
The former minister tried to link his Iranian operators with Israelis with whom he was in contact so that the Iranian agents could dig out information from his victims, without mentioning to his Israeli victims that they were dealing with Iranian officers.More news: Gordon Ramsay faces Twitter wrath over sexual innuendos toward Sofia Vergara
He was arrested in May during a visit to Equatorial Guinea and extradited to Israel.
In 2002, Israel's security services uncovered a Hezbollah plot to kidnap Israeli citizens-with Segev among them-to Lebanon to be used as bargaining chips for negotiations on prisoner swaps.
The following year, he admitted the charges as part of a plea bargain. "I wanted to fool the Iranians and come back to Israel a hero", he was quoted as saying during his interrogation by the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency. He has always been disgraced in Israel after being convicted in 2005 of attempting to smuggle 32,000 chocolate-covered ecstasy pills.
He was convicted of attempting to fraudulently obtain benefits and of credit card fraud.More news: Cheeky victor : Bernard Tomic defeats Nick Kyrgios with incredible trick serve