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Ya'alon on Prisoner X: Israel is not a dark dictatorship

February 16, 2013 20:56

Likud minister defends government's handling of Prisoner X case, tells Ch. 2 that when someone is imprisoned under a fake name "it's done with the supervision of the judiciary, with the family, executive branch knowing."

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon 370. (photo credit:TOVAH LAZAROFF)

Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon defended the government's behavior in the Prisoner X case on Saturday, saying "we are not a dark dictatorship like Stalin's Soviet Union or Argentina" and that "the people in Israel who needed to know about this, knew."

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Australian media broke the story earlier this week about an Australian immigrant and alleged Mossad agent named Ben Zygier who committed suicide while in solitary confinement under a fake name in Ramle's Ayalon Prison in 2010.

Ya'alon explained on Channel 2's Meet the Press, "If we want, in an extreme case, to put someone in prison under a fake name, it's done with the supervision of the judiciary, with the family and the executive branch knowing."

In response to questions about what Zygier did to be put in solitary confinement, Ya'alon stated: "We should assume that if he got to this point, there was information that necessitated it."

Ya'alon also said that every suicide is investigated in Israel, including Zygier's.

"The State of Israel knows how to learn from this experience," Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said of the Prisoner X case.

Details of a Justice Department probe into the circumstances of Zygier's death were expected to be revealed in the coming days. staff contributed to this report.
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