Trial begins for ex-Israeli minister charged as Iran spy

AP — A former Israeli government minister charged with spying for archenemy Iran is standing trial in Jerusalem.

Gonen Segev appeared in court on Thursday. He was extradited from Equatorial Guinea earlier this year.

Israel says Segev, who served as minister in mid 1990s, was an agent for Iranian intelligence.

Prosecutor Geula Cohen says the severity of the case — when “a former minister spies … for the country that is considered the biggest enemy of Israel” — can’t be ignored.

Israel considers Iran its biggest threat, citing Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, Tehran’s support for militant groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah and its development of long-range missiles.

Segev was imprisoned in Israel after his 2004 arrest for attempting to smuggle 32,000 ecstasy tablets from the Netherlands, using an expired diplomatic passport.