Documents show second Prisoner X held in Israeli prison


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A second Prisoner X was held in Israel’s Ayalon Prison at the time of the suicide of Ben Zygier, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, citing court documents.

The second prisoner being held in isolation and anonymously at the prison, as was Zygier, already had been convicted, Haaretz reported, citing documents released Tuesday from the Central District Magistrate’s Court.  It is not known if the second prisoner is still in jail or if he had been working for the Mossad.

Information on the second prisoner was part of an appendix to the transcript of hearings and judges’ decisions on the case of  Zygier,  an immigrant to Israel from Australia who was arrested in January 2010 by Israel’s Shin Bet secret service and jailed in secrecy under the name Prisoner X until he took his life 10 months later. The case was shrouded in secrecy until the Australian Broadcasting Corp. exposed Zygier’s identity in February.

Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, also is being held in isolation at the Ayalon Prison.

The papers released Tuesday detailing the investigation into Zygier’s suicide also indicated that the security camera positioned to film near the toilet in Zygier’s bathroom, where he hung himself with a wet sheet, was not working on the day that Zygier killed himself. In addition, due to a personnel shortage, the control room only had three people working that day instead of the required five.

The documents were released as Zygier’s family is in ongoing talks with Israel over a financial settlement. The amount under discussion is not known, but it is estimated to be up to $1.5 million. The family argues that the Mossad and Prisons Service knew that Zygier was planning to take his life.


Recommended from JTA