Court okays partial release of Zygier suicide report

Announcement comes on heels of revelation about how jailed Mossad agent hanged himself in prison

Ben Zygier's Australian passport (Screenshot Channel 10)
Ben Zygier's Australian passport (Screenshot Channel 10)

The Reshion Lezion Magistrate’s Court has decided to allow the release of sections of the official investigation into the 2010 death of Ben Zygier, also known as “Prisoner X,” following a petition by Channel 10 and Channel 2.

The announcement comes on the heels of a Tuesday Maariv article, which published information allegedly obtained from a leaked copy of the report. The paper stated that Zygier was not on suicide watch while incarcerated under maximum security at Ayalon Prison, which allowed him time to hang himself from a sheet in his bathroom without the guards noticing.

Zygier, a Melbourne native and Mossad operative, was secretly arrested in 2010 and hanged himself several months later. He 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.

The case was revealed to the world at large thanks to a media investigation last week, and has dominated Israeli and Australian headlines since.

Much of the report will remain under wraps, but the state said it will allow the publication of the report’s section on the circumstances surrounding the death.

On Tuesday, former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss called for a thorough investigation into the affair by Joseph Shapira, his successor as comptroller. Lindenstrauss said that the comptroller’s office has “the proper tools and security” to fulfill the “need for public inspection” into the affair, according to Army Radio.

On Monday, Shapiro said he would “wait a few days” before deciding whether to launch an investigation.

Australia has launched its own probe into the affair and has requested Israeli cooperation. In addition, a Knesset intelligence subcommittee said it would look into the affair.

Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.

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