Authorities work their way through Mitchell's phonebook

Journalist friends and colleagues of Chris Mitchell, the independent producer and director of the BBC This World programme on Vanunu, have been contacted by the Israeli authorities.

On 23 May Mitchell was arrested by the Israeli security service and had 35 tapes, a mobile phone and documents confiscated while attempting to leave the country.

Now the authorities are going through Mitchell’s phonebook, calling his acquaintances, he told Press Gazette this week.

Mitchell, who said he barred his mobile handset after he was released from detention, believed the Israelis hacked into it to access contact numbers.

“A whole bunch of people I know – both BBC colleagues in Israel and friends of mine in this country who have absolutely nothing to do with my work, have been getting strange calls from Israeli numbers,” he said.

“They are just working their way through the SIM card. The phone’s been barred – I did it immediately I got back in the house that night. Either they worked on it very quickly or they’ve just been hacking into it ever since, because they’ve gone through some very old phone numbers in it, which I find really disturbing.”

Mitchell said he would take legal action against the Israeli Government if it failed to return his property by the end of this week.

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