Did accused spy have ties to Israel

Stewart Nozette, a U.S. government scientist who was caught last month in a sting operation, told an undercover FBI agent who he thought was an Israeli Mossad agent that he had passed classified information to Israel in the past, the prosecution said during an Oct. 30 hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Though prosecutors said that Nozette transmitted information to Israel, the official charges do not contain those allegations.

Nozette once worked at the Lawrence Livermore Lab on government science and space projects and had a high-level security clearance. Prosecutors say he demanded an Israeli passport from an undercover agent in exchange for information and that he had gold Krugerrand coins worth tens of thousands of dollars in a safe deposit box in California. They also said he told a colleague that he planned to flee to Israel or India if he were to face jail time in an unrelated fraud case.

The FBI has emphasized that Israel is not involved in the alleged crime. — jta