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February 19, 2013 6:19 pm

Australian Jewry Welcomes Israeli Investigation Into Zygier’s Death

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The controversial "Prisoner X," Ben Zygier. Photo: YouTube.

Australian Jewry has broken its silence about the case of alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier, Israel Hayom reported. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) on Tuesday welcomed announcements by the Australian and Israeli governments of further inquiries into the circumstances surrounding Zygier’s death.

“We welcome the fact that the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee for Intelligence and the Israeli State Attorney’s office, part of the Ministry of Justice, have both announced that they will be conducting investigations into the circumstances surrounding Ben Zygier’s death,” said ECAJ President Dr. Danny Lamm.

New details continue to emerge on Zygier, who was known as “Prisoner X.” Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported on Tuesday that Zyguer hanged himself in Israel’s Ayalon Prison by tying a bed sheet to the steel bars of the window in his cell’s bathroom, and then standing on a stool.

According to Australian media reports, Zygier, a 34-year-old dual Israeli and Australian national, revealed details of Mossad operations to Australian intelligence. He was then reportedly held in isolation in Israel’s most secure, supposedly suicide-proof prison cell, originally built to hold then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir.

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Citing the Israel Prison Service report written up immediately after Zygier’s suicide in December 2010, Maariv reported that Zygier woke up on the morning of Dec. 15, 2010, ate his breakfast, and took the sheet that covered his mattress to the bathroom, the only area in his cell which is not monitored by security cameras. Zygier reportedly told his guards that he was taking the sheet to the bathroom to wash it. He then apparently tied the sheet to the steel bars of the bathroom window, stood on a stool, and hanged himself.

According to the Prison Service report, Zygier had not been considered a suicide risk. His guards had not carried out checks on him every few minutes, but rather at intervals of 20-25 minutes. On Tuesday, the Israeli State Prosecution said it would not object to having part of the report declassified, Army Radio reported. The radio station reported that the state filed an official response to a court petition to mandate the report’s publication.

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