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Australia spy case mystery grips Israel

world Updated: Feb 15, 2013 01:00 IST
AFP
Jerusalem

Speculation over the top-secret arrest and suicide of an Australian-Israeli, identified this week by Australian media as Mossad agent Ben Zygier but called 'Prisoner X', in prison reached fever pitch Thursday amid allegations he may have been about to blow the whistle on sensitive Mossad operations.

Zygier is believed to have died in December 2010 while in isolation at Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv, in a case which Israel went to extreme lengths to cover up.

Late on Wednesday, Israel admitted it had imprisoned a man with dual nationality on security grounds who had committed suicide in jail in 2010, but did not identify him, nor did it confirm reports he worked for its shadowy spy agency, Mossad.

But an Israeli lawyer who met Zygier days before his death confirmed Mossad agents had been involved in the case, and said he saw no sign the prisoner was planning to kill himself.