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November 16, 1987

The treason trial of a former nuclear technician who told a British newspaper that Israel has atomic weapons will be held behind closed doors, a Jerusalem court ruled. The court also rejected a defense request that Israeli leaders be ordered to testify about the country's nuclear policy. Mordechai Vanunu, 32, is charged with treason and espionage and faces a maximum life sentence if convicted. Based on Vanunu's information, the Sunday Times of London reported last fall that Israel had stockpiled the world's sixth-largest nuclear arsenal. Israeli leaders have refused comment, saying only that Israel would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.

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