Sunday Times reporter Peter Hounam has been detained this evening (Wednesday) in Jerusalem and taken in for questioning, apparently on suspicion of committing security offences.
Following his arrest, Hounam was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court and interrogated in the presence of a General Security Service (GSS) representative. Subsequently, he was taken for questioning at a GSS facility in the capital.
Hounam was the journalist who first exposed the Vanunu nuclear espionage affair in the British media. Upon Vanunu’s recent release from prison, after serving an 18-year sentence for treason, Hounam arrived in Israel and leased a luxury apartment in Jaffa for the nuclear spy, on behalf of the BBC network.
Meanwhile, a publication ban has been issued by the court on the offences attributed to Hounam.
So we don’t know yet what they have on Hounam… Here’s our post on the BBC’s Jaffa apartment for Vanunu, a report the Beeb vehemently denied.
Among others, Hounam was banned from meeting Vanunu, who has been living in a church in East Jerusalem since his release.
So it could be that Hounam broke this ban while working on his film documentary of Vanunu’s release, and the GSS (‘Shabak’) wants to know what Vanunu told him – JPost thinks so:
Hounam was reportedly questioned by Shin Bet officials concerning a television interview he did with Vanunu shortly after his release last month. The interview was for several hours, sources said.
According to sources, Hounam, a British citizen, was trying to smuggle the videotapes of the interview out of the country, thus bypassing the military censor.