TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Prisoner found dead a suspected spy for Israel

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Washington Post
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 9:57 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — An Australian-Israeli citizen suspected of spying for Israel — who died while secretly held in an Israeli jail in 2010 — had been charged with grave security crimes and was weighing a possible plea bargain, according to a lawyer who met with him shortly before his death.

The lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, said on Thursday that the crimes included espionage and treason, but he declined to cite the specific charge. He cited a court-imposed gag order.

Australia's media reported Friday that Australian security officials suspect that the prisoner, identified as Ben Zygier, 34, might have been about to disclose information about Israeli intelligence operations, including the use of fraudulent Australian passports by the Israeli spy agency Mossad.

Zygier's mysterious demise had been cloaked in extraordinary secrecy in Israel for more than two years, but a report by Australia's ABC network led Israeli authorities to acknowledge the death late Wednesday after initially attempting to prevent local media from publishing the story.

A statement from Israel's State Attorney's office did not identify the prisoner or his nationality, saying only that he had Israeli and foreign citizenship and had been held under a false identity for security reasons. The statement added that the prisoner's family was notified immediately of his arrest and that he had been represented by lawyers.

The prisoner was found dead in his cell about two years ago. A court-ordered investigation was held, and the death was ruled a suicide six weeks ago. A statement added that the case is being examined for possible negligence.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
  2. Copilot’s friends doubt Germanwings crash intentional
  3. Plane crash kills 150 people in French Alps
  4. Prince Charles’ private letters to reveal views
  5. Proposed deal would allow Iran to run centrifuges, prohibit building bomb
  6. Nigerian President Jonathan urges peaceful vote as elections loom
  7. Russians blame Western sanctions for recession fed by oil price drop
  8. Airstrikes intensify in Yemen as Egypt, Saudis consider ground forces
  9. Saudi King Salman’s closer Turkey, Qatar ties pressure Egypt
  10. 2 vans carrying jewels worth millions hijacked in France
  11. Rebels’ capture of city near base in Yemen prompts U.S. troops to evacuate