No sign Australian spy was suicidal

2013-02-14 17:33
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - A top-secret Israeli-Australian prisoner jailed on security grounds gave no indication he was about to commit suicide, an Israeli lawyer who met him just days before his death said on Thursday.

"When I saw him, there was nothing to indicate he was going to commit suicide," said Avigdor Feldman, a top human rights lawyer who met the man known as Ben Zygier before he was found hanged in his cell at Ayalon Prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010.

According to Australian broadcaster ABC, which broke the story on Tuesday, Zygier was a 34-year-old native of Melbourne who moved to Israel in 2001 and was working for Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Although Israel has admitted jailing a man with dual nationality who ended his own life in December 2010, all other details about why he was arrested are subjected to a tight gag order.

In an interview with Israel's army radio, Feldman said he had met the man formerly known as "Prisoner X" to offer him advice ahead of his trial.

"His family asked that I meet him to advise him. The trial hadn't properly started yet," he said, indicating the prisoner had already been indicted and that talks were under way with senior prosecutors to reach a plea bargain.

"He asked for advice and I sat and listened to him. Not that I'm a psychologist, but he appeared rational, focused, he spoke clearly about the issue and didn't exude any sense of self-pity."

A day or two later, Feldman's liaison at the prison rang him to say the prisoner had died.

The lawyer admitted he was surprised "that a man who was being held in a cell like that, a cell which was being monitored and checked 24-hours a day, could manage to commit suicide by hanging himself."

Feldman, who said he knew the prisoner's real name and had access to the file on his arrest but was unable to give any details for legal reasons, said it was clear the detainee was facing a very long jail term.

"I understood that he was told he was likely to face the longest possible jail term and that he was likely to be ostracised by his family," he said.

Until Wednesday night, Israel imposed a complete media blackout on the details of the case, but after easing the restrictions somewhat, the justice ministry admitted jailing an Australian with Israeli nationality on security grounds who had taken his own life in December 2010.

It said an inquest into his death had rendered a verdict of suicide in a decision reached just six weeks ago.

Read more on:    israel  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.