Liberman: Israel made no mistakes in Zygier case

Liberman: Israel made no mistakes in Zygier case

Former foreign minister also says international community must not just rely on sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear program

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Avigdor Liberman, February 2013 (photo credit: Flash90)
Avigdor Liberman, February 2013 (photo credit: Flash90)

A Knesset probe has thus far found no fault in the Israeli government’s handling of Mossad agent Ben Zygier’s arrest and imprisonment, former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.

Liberman, who chairs the Intelligence and Secret Services Subcommittee, said the panel had begun an in-depth investigation into the Australian-Israeli’s detention in prison and eventual suicide.

Zygier committed suicide in Israel’s Ayalon Prison in December 2010 after eight months behind bars as an unnamed inmate. He was charged with an as-yet unspecified “serious crime.”

According to Liberman, the security organizations under investigation were providing “sincere and honest cooperation, and thus far nothing irregular had surfaced regarding the incident.”

“In everything concerning Ben Zygier’s detention, all of the relevant, most senior judicial officials were involved [and] accompanied the entire process,” Liberman said.

“I can say conclusively that Israel doesn’t ‘disappear’ people,” the Yisrael Beytenu leader added. “Nobody carries out justice on their own.”

Regarding the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 being held in Kazakhstan, Liberman wished the world powers success in arriving at a diplomatic resolution, but said he had “no illusions about Iran’s intentions to drag out the process and waste time.”

The P5+1, comprising the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France, plus Germany — have held talks with Tehran to curb its unsanctioned nuclear program for over a year without substantial results.

“It is the duty of the international community to rely on the experience with North Korea and understand that sanctions alone will not be enough,” the former foreign minister said. He said that in order to rein Iran in, the international community must adopt more substantial measures.

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