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WASHINGTON — He was spirited out of a federal prison on Friday under cover of night, eluding witnesses in a cloak-and-dagger coda to a spy story that has strained relations between two allies for three decades.
But while Jonathan J. Pollard, one of the most notorious spies of the late Cold War, tried to stay out of sight after emerging from custody almost as if from a time machine, the United States and Israel hoped his release would finally heal a long-festering open wound in their partnership.
An Israeli court put nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu under seven days' house arrest Thursday for giving a TV interview more than a decade after completing an 18-year jail term, media said.
Army radio said he was arrested in the morning after an interview on privately owned Channel 2 last week in defiance of the terms of his 2004 release.
He later appeared in a Jerusalem court and was confined to his home for a week and barred from using the Internet, the radio said.
Court officials could not be reached for confirmation.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the police have contacted Channel 2, seeking the full, unedited footage of the interview. Channel 2 has reportedly denied requests to give the footage to police on the principal of protecting their sources, and are taking the matter to court.
The former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel's Dimona nuclear plant to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.
In the Channel 2 interview Vanunu told the story of his 1986 capture in Rome after an undercover Mossad agent named 'Cindy' seduced him and convinced him to travel with her. He was ambushed and arrested in their Rome hotel room.
He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.