Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Israel's official statement on "Prisoner X"

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AIJAC has obviously been following closely the reporting and speculation - both in Australia and Israel - concerning the case of "Prisoner X" who died in 2010 in an Israeli prison, and is alleged to have been Melbourne-born Australian-Israeli dual citizen Ben Zygier.

While we can add little to what is already in the media, and have no wish to further burden the bereaved Zygier family, below in full is the translation prepared by Haaretz of the Israeli government statement on Prisoner X released on Wednesday, which has not yet been published here, and we believe sheds some light on aspects of the case which have not gotten sufficient attention.

 

The full text of the document released by Israel on Prisoner X

The following document was made available by an Israeli court as part of a gag order that was partially lifted.

By Haaretz | Feb.13, 2013 | 10:20 PM

The translated text of the document released by Israel reads as follows:


The Israel Prison Service has held in its custody a prisoner who was both an Israeli citizen and a foreign national. The inmate was registered under a false identity for security reasons, but his family was notified immediately upon his arrest. He was represented in the proceedings that touched upon his case by attorneys Roy Blecher, Moshe Mazor and Boaz Ben Tzur.

The prisoner was detained as per the order issued by an authorized court. The proceedings in the prisoner's case were overseen by the topmost officials in the Justice Ministry, and his rights were protected in accordance with the law.

The prisoner was found dead in his cell two years ago. As result, Hon. Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai, the president of the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court, ordered an investigation into the circumstances of his death, as per the [pertaining] law. A court order was issued requiring the case to be heard behind closed doors. This order remains in effect.

A month and a half ago, the extensive probe into the case found that the cause of death was suicide. The president [Blatman Kedrai] has submitted the case to the State Prosecutor's Office to examine aspects of negligence.

The deceased and his family were represented by the aforementioned attorneys in each of the proceedings in the case, including the investigation into the cause of death.

No details about the case, beyond the ones listed herein, can be released to the public for reasons of state security. These aspects of security were examined by the Central District Court, which decided to impose a gag order on the affair. This order was issued at the security services' request, which was approved by the relevant officials at the Justice Ministry.

An appeal filed with the Supreme Court by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel against this order has been withdrawn by the association as per the Supreme Court's recommendation.

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