U.S. Jew indicted as possible Israel spy
(Haaretz) -- By Yossi Melman
New documents presented in federal court in Washington, D.C. reveal deep ties (more than was known) between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Dr. Stewart David Nozette, an American astronomer accused of spying for Israel.
The media here covered his arrest on October 19, 2009 and then interest waned, though the American media are still monitoring the case.
Two attorneys in the counterespionage unit of the U.S. Department's of Justice National Security division, Deborah Curtis and Heather Schmidt, presented documents found on the scientist's computer. One document, titled "Proposed Operations for 2005-2006," referred to the need to carry out "a penetration of NASA," the U.S. space agency.
Another document, according to the prosecution, shows Nozette attempted to obtain highly confidential material by using his high-level security clearance and infiltrating other people's computers.
Other documents mention the names of Yossi Weiss and Yossi Fishman. Weiss is a former project manager and today the deputy CEO of IAI and head of the company's missile and space division. Fishman was the IAI's representative in the U.S. and is today the CEO of ODF Optronics.
Fishman told Haaretz he knew Nozette the way he knew other Americans employed by the IAI at the time as consultants. "We did not engage in any kind of spying activity or information gathering, perish the thought. The relationship was business as usual."
The IAI is not mentioned specifically by name in the documents. It is referred to as a foreign company or as a space company owned by the Israeli government." Background talks with administration officials indicate the references are indeed to IAI.
The indictment and the documents indicate that Nozette was employed for nine years as an IAI consultant. Versions vary as to how much he was paid, from $170,000 to $225,000. His direct superior was Israel Aircraft Industries International, a U.S.-registered company.
The FBI searched Nozette's home and computer and found additional proof of his connection to Israel. He visited here several times, but did not report this - as is required by his high security clearance. The FBI confiscated letters he wrote to Israelis, reports he forwarded to the IAI, a map of Israel, photos of assorted places in Israel, a Hebrew-language catalog of archaeological artifacts and other items.
Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was arrested after FBI surveillance that included wiretapping and undercover photography. The operation followed the former astronomer's interrogation on suspicion of tax evasion and defrauding the U.S. government. Nozette worked out plea bargain with the Justice Department; he admitted to fraud and accepted a sentence of up to three years in jail, plus a fine of $265,000. His jail term would have started in November, but he was arrested on the new and more serious charge of espionage...MORE...LINK
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