Trial of Captured Mossad Agent to Open Monday in Switzerland

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Mossad agent caught in Switzerland in 1998, attempting to bug the home of a Hizbollah representative, returned to Bern to stand trial Monday, reported Haaretz newspaper.  

Yitzhak Ben Tal had been released on bail from Switzerland until the date of his trial, said the paper. 

The Mossad agent faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison.  

Ben Tal avoided more serious charges, according to Swiss sources, because the Mossad had not been targeting Swiss national security during the incident, Haaretz said. 

The Mossad activity against the Hizbollah man resident in the suburbs of Bern took place during a period when the intelligence agency is believed to have had information on planned attacks by the radical Lebanese organization against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad. 

At the time, the Mossad was headed by Danny Yatom and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Four other agents, two men and two women, evaded Swiss authorities during the operation, said the paper.  

Two of the agents were also arrested, but managed to escape from a hospital where one of them was receiving medical treatment. During the arrest, the police confiscated wire-tapping equipment and other intelligence-gathering electronics. 

Swiss authorities say that the equipment was transferred to their country through Israeli diplomatic pouches, Haaretz added. 

Immediately following the arrest, the Swiss were unwilling to enter any negotiations with Israel on the fate of the agent and agreed only to release him on bail, according to Haaretz - 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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