Details of 'Prisoner X's' death revealed

Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:26 AM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Israel Tuesday revealed Prisoner X, otherwise known as Ben Zygier who allegedly worked for the Mossad, committed suicide using a bed sheet.

The 34-year-old alleged spy, who held dual Israeli and Australian citizenship, was incarcerated in Israel in 2010 on unknown charges under a different name. Zigier was found dead in his prison cell in December 2010. The entire affair was subjected to strict censorship in Israel, and was first reported last week in Australia.

On Tuesday, at the request of a number of media outlets, the Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court agreed to publish part of the coroner's report concerning Zygier's death. Details released for publication revealed that an initial investigation by Israel's Prison Service determined he hanged himself in the cell's toilet, by tying a bed sheet to the bars on the window.

Court Judge Daphna Blatman-Kedrai, who reviewed the report after examining the prison diary used by wardens to record events, and the findings of police who examined the cell, suggested negligence on the part of the prison. "I have found evidence allegedly suggesting that elements in the Israel Prison Service are at fault," quoted her as saying.

Last Tuesday, the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Foreign Correspondent program reported Zygier worked for Israel's Mossad and used a number of aliases. The report said he served in the Israeli army, married an Israeli woman and was the father of two children.

The report intimated he had visited Iran and Syria in the capacity of his activities, and committed suicide in an Israeli prison cell in December 2010. Neither the Israeli government or jail system acknowledged his presence in the country. Zygier's body was flown to Melbourne, Australia, for burial. Ever since the story broke, there have been daily reports in the Australian and Israeli media concerning Zygier's activities. Some suggest he revealed information of the Mossad's activities and operations to Australian intelligence.

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