Prisoner 'X' Hung Himself in Israeli Prison, Met With Lawyer Day Before

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By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
February 19, 2013|2:07 pm

The Israel Justice Ministry has released details of the 2010 death of a prisoner known as "X" in light of petitions calling for a lift on the gag order surrounding the death. Ben Zygier, aka Prisoner "X," committed suicide in his jail cell with a bed sheet, reports stated and the incident has been criticized for negligence by the Israeli Prison Service.

"The duties placed on the Israel Prison service in connection to the deceased were particularly complex given the cloak of secrecy, gaps in information and compartmentalization," a report by Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai said.

"Nevertheless, orders to prevent suicide were given and the elements entrusted with guarding the prisoner were aware of them. These orders were not upheld and a 'window of opportunity' was used by the deceased to commit suicide," the report concluded.

Zygier was an Australian-Israeli citizen who was accused of leaking information from his work with the Israeli agency Mossad to Australian intelligence. Fearing the breech in protocol, the Israeli police arrested Zygier and put him in solitary confinement.

He was later found dead in his prison cell, having hung himself with a bed sheet. At first, the Israeli officials tried to keep details of Zygier's life secret and out of the press, fearing that tensions between Australia and Israel would flair up.

Benjamin Netanyahu's office has denied any problems between the countries and assured the people that there was "excellent cooperation, full coordination and complete transparency" between the two countries, according to the Associated Press.

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Zygier met with his lawyer one day before his death, The Jewish Press reported. He allegedly wanted to discuss a plea bargain in order to avoid spending more time in prison. While the charges are still unknown, his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, said they were "very serious."

Zygier's body was sent back to Australia for burial, The Jewish Week reported. He was buried in Melbourne, where he attended school as a boy.

 

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