Report: Prisoner X hanged himself with a bed sheet

Dual Israeli-Australian citizen and suspected spy Ben Zygier hanged himself in the bathroom of his Israeli prison cell using a bed sheet, an investigation into his death concluded.

On Feb. 19, Israel’s Justice Ministry released to the Israeli media part of the report on its investigation into Zygier’s 2010 death, which has been labeled a suicide.

The decision to release the findings came after several Israeli news outlets filed a petition in Rishon LeTzion Magistrate’s Court asking the court to lift the gag order on the investigation.

In her report, Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai determined that Zygier committed suicide in his solitary confinement cell and that there is evidence of negligence on the part of Israel Prison Service officials. She ordered the state to release additional information on the case in 21 days.

Zygier, known as Prisoner X as well as Ben Alon, was the subject of an exposé by the Australian news program “Foreign Correspondent” on Feb. 12. The exposé reported that he was jailed in early 2010 and apparently committed suicide in the high-security Ayalon Prison near Tel Aviv. It also suggested that he worked for the Mossad.

Zygier was one of three native Australian Jews who changed their names several times, receiving new passports for travel in the Middle East and Europe allegedly for their work for the Mossad, according to the news program. He was buried in Melbourne, where he attended day school as a boy. — jta