Report: Another Prisoner X held in Israel

July 9, 2013 at 7:21 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, July 9 (UPI) -- Ben Zygier, a former Mossad agent who committed suicide in his prison cell, was not the only prisoner held in Israel in secret, court documents reveal.

Documents released for publication Monday by the Central District Magistrates Court at the request of Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth concerning an inquiry into Zygier's death at the Ayalon Prison revealed another anonymous prisoner was secretly being held under similar circumstances, both newspapers reported.

Zygier, who had dual Israeli-Australian citizenship, was arrested in February 2010 and incarcerated in an isolation cell for 10 months in Ayalon Prison's Block 15. In December 2010 he committed suicide in his cell. Documents released by the court that examined conditions and procedures for such prisoners revealed at the same time Zygier was incarcerated, another prisoner was being held under similar circumstances in the same prison, Haaretz said. It is unclear whether the prisoner is still in custody, the paper said.

Judge Dafna Baltman-Kadrai, who presided over a court inquiry into Zygier's death, agreed to authorize the publication of the existence of the second prisoner but barred further details from being published, Yedioth Ahronoth said Tuesday.

Knesset member Miri Regev who also chairs the Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee called for an urgent meeting with heads of the various security and prison branches to discuss the reports, The Jerusalem Post said.

"We all need to learn from the Prisoner X affair. Sometimes, attempts to conceal information can harm Israel's image," she said.

In February, the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Foreign Correspondent" program revealed Zygier, 34, worked for 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 said he was incarcerated in Israel on unknown charges under a different name and also intimated he had visited Iran and Syria as a Mossad agent.

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