"Ben Zygier, the Melbourne-born Mossad agent who committed suicide in his cell at Ramle’s Ayalon Prison in 2010, had been granted all the rights and protections due to him under Israeli law, a top Justice Ministry official told reporters on Thursday.
Even the unusual fact that his identity was kept secret was a security measure to which Zygier himself consented, the official said, recognizing that this was beneficial to national security and to his own and his family’s protection.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide details of why Zygier was arrested, and what charges had been leveled against him. Avigdor Feldman, a defense lawyer who met with Zygier a day or two before he died, said the 34-year-old father of two had been charged with “serious criminal” offenses and faced long years in prison. Conflicting, unconfirmed reports have indicated that Zygier had spilled Mossad secrets to the Australian authorities or media, or was believed to have been about to do so.
The official said the state was considering filing negligence charges against those who failed to prevent his suicide on December 15, 2010. Although he was being held in a top-security jail cell under constant camera surveillance, and was reportedly considered a suicide risk, Zygier killed himself in the bathroom where there were no cameras, Israeli TV reported on Thursday evening. A transcript of the prison officials’ panicked call for medical assistance to Magen David Adom — “he’s hanged himself,” the caller reportedly wailed — was read out on Channel 10 news.
We'll see if the HP picks up this news.Feldman said Zygier was torn between accepting a plea bargain and a lengthy jail term, or risking conviction in a trial and a still longer term. He “absolutely” did not seem suicidal, Feldman said, but the lawyer noted that Zygier had been held in solitary confinement for eight or nine months, and that this could have a dramatic impact on a prisoner’s psyche."