17 Feb 2013

Secrets and lies – the double life of Prisoner X


He was "a double agent working for Iran"; he was "responsible for the botched operation in a Dubai hotel in 2010" in which Mossad agents killed a senior Hamas commander; he was "just a loud mouth who couldn't keep quiet" about being a member of Israel's secret service. These are some of the many theories about why Ben Zygier, or "Prisoner X" as he was known until last week, was held in Israel's most secure prison for a few months before apparently killing himself in December 2010. His detention was kept so secret that even his guards didn't know his name; his presumed crime so grave that even his family haven't gone public about his case.

More on The Independent

ASIO has been blamed as having a part hand in the death of Australian "prisoner X" Ben Zygier after allegedly leaking information of his work as a Mossad agent to the press.

Israel today sought to defend its jailing of Australian "prisoner X" Ben Zygier by declaring it a case of pikuach nefesh - the Jewish imperative to save lives at all cost. Vice Premier and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said today Israel’s "unique" security situation sometimes called for "extreme measures" and that the secret jailing of alleged Mossad agent Zygier was critical.