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Follow-Up on Ben Zygier, Israel's 'Prisoner X'

Hawaii Political Info introduction: McClatchy papers has a story that Ben Zygier, who died a supposed suicide two years ago while he was isolated as the only prisoner in a prison wing, may have come to grief with Israel because he was going to blow the whistle on Mossad's use of foreign passports.

This is not much in the way of news and hardly seems like a reason for the extraordinary isolation and secrecy of Zygier's imprisonment. The fact that Israeli assassin squads use foreign passports received worldwide attention long ago.

If the secrecy was so intense that even his prison guards didn't know his identity, it looks like Israel would have difficulty in ever letting him slip from its control.


McClatchy Newspapers

By Sheera Frenkel

TEL AVIV, Israel — In the space of three days, a two-year-old mystery about an unidentified prisoner who hanged himself in a high-security Israeli prison has become a scandal for Israel’s vaunted Mossad spy agency. Many here are predicting that it will cost some top officials their jobs.

The Israeli government now acknowledges that Prisoner X was an Australian citizen named Ben Zygier who was held in solitary confinement for eight months in this country’s notorious Ayalon prison before he hanged himself. But the details of Zygier’s life as a Mossad agent are still emerging, and with each new fact, analysts find a pattern of a spy agency that let down its guard and then perhaps went to extremes to cover up its responsibility.

"This is not an affair, it’s a catastrophe," Uri Misgav wrote in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. "The real issue is the state’s spiriting away an Israeli-Australian citizen, who worked for it, and locking him up hermetically until he died in strange, suspicious circumstances."

Read more . . .


A liar or a blabbermouth? Ben Zygier was not suited to work for the Mossad [Haaretz] (Israel)