Australian relatives of Mossad agent Ben Zygier have broken their silence, calling on Israel to open up on what happened to their son and brother and reveal the results of a probe into the case, an Israeli newspaper claimed Tuesday.
Zygier’s family, like much of Melbourne’s Jewish community, has remained out of the media spotlight since the affair was brought into the open by an Australian TV station last week.
“We demand that Israel tell us exactly what happened to Ben,” a member of the family reportedly said to Yedioth Ahronoth’s Australian reporter. “We are waiting impatiently for the results of the Israeli investigations committee. We support the Australian government’s call for Israel to reveal exactly what happened.”
The paper said it had spoken to Zygier’s parents and brother.
Zygier, known as “Prisoner X” until last week, was secretly arrested in 2010 and hanged himself several months later, despite being held in an ultra-secure cell with 24-hour surveillance.
The Mossad agent, who grew up in Australia and immigrated to Israel in 2000, was imprisoned by Israeli authorities after he reportedly revealed information to officers from Australia’s ASIO internal intelligence agency, including on a major upcoming operation in Italy, according to Australia’s ABC television.
On Tuesday, a leading Australian Jewish organization also broke its silence on the case and released a statement supporting the investigation into 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 a statement from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry read.
“We also welcome the inquiries being undertaken by Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the fact that he has invited the Israeli authorities to have an input into those inquiries,” the statement said.