Family of Prisoner X Ben Zygier 'to receive millions in compensation from Israeli government'

Secret report into his death in prison in 2010 concludes he had committed suicide


The family of Ben Zygier, the Israeli-Australian Mossad agent who until this week was known only as ‘Prisoner X’, will reportedly be paid millions of shekels in compensation by the Israeli government, after a secret report into his death in prison in 2010 concluded that he had committed suicide.

The revelations, reported in the Haaretz newspaper today, come after a secret Ministry of Justice investigation, which was concluded just six weeks ago. Reports of the deal came as the Israeli media published the first interviews with prison guards at the high security Ayalon jail where Zygier was held until his death in December 2010, two days after the birth of his second daughter.

Zygier’s identity was revealed this week after Australia’s ABC television broadcast details of the case. There are still no official details about what crime he is supposed to have committed.

Zygier was housed in a high-tech cell designed for specifically for Yigal Amir, the killer of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “Nobody was permitted to be in contact with him. We gave him food three times a day, and only one guard was allowed to bring the food inside and none of us knew his name,” one prison worker said. “I don’t understand how he managed to commit suicide, with four cameras in his cell documenting him around the clock.”

Other reports have instead suggested that the state has admitted no fault in the suicide, and that Zygier’s family are still seeking compensation, with talks at an early stage. So far, none of Zygier’s relatives have commented on the case.

It is understood that Zygier’s cell was fitting with CCTV and that while he had books to read during his solitary confinement, he was allowed access to little else. It has been argued that he could only have killed himself in the bathroom of the cell.

So far, Israel has only confirmed that Zygier’s identity, and has not commented on the suggestion that he was a Mossad agent. The high profile Israeli lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, who met Zygier the day before his death said that a Mossad liaison officer had arranged the meeting.

Mr Feldman said Zygier had been indicted for “grave crimes” without specifying what they were. Zygier was considering a plea bargain, and had insisted that he was not guilty of the charges.

Speculation on what Zygier did have centred on his dealings with Iranian agents, and possibly that he had become a double agent. Australian media reports have instead suggested that rather being a traitor, Zygier was someone who was too vocal about his membership of the Mossad and that any charges are likely to be related to an unintentional breach of security.

ebookA powerful collection of reportage on Egypt’s cycle of awakening and relapse
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a dynamic En...

SAP Data Migration Lead

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Experienced Lead SAP Data Manager Requir...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Graduate Recruitment Resourcers - Banking Technologies

£18000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Huxley Associates are looking...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform