Alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier, who killed himself in an Israeli prison
in 2010, was arrested by his Mossad handlers for giving intelligence
information to Australia's domestic intelligence agency, ASIO, the
Australian TV channel ABC quoted sources as saying on Monday.
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which originally broke the story of Zygier's suicide in an Israeli jail
under a fake name last week, reported Monday that Zygier gave detailed
information about various Mossad operations, including a major operation
in Italy, that had been planned over a period of several years.
According to the report, Zygier had applied for a work visa to Italy on one of his trips back to Australia.
ABC emphasized that it was not clear whether Zygier or ASIO had initiated the contact.
ABC report came as the investigation into Zygier's death are being
ramped up in Israel. A group of MKs will investigate the “Prisoner X”
case, the Knesset announced on
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee for
Intelligence plans to hold an “intensive examination” of the circumstances
surrounding the prison suicide of Zygier.
Comptroller Joseph Shapira on Monday said at a conference in Ra'anana
that he would wait a few days before deciding whether to review the
He said he wanted to wait to see how the Knesset State
Control Committee, the Attorney-General and the government in general
treated the issue.
Shapira acknowledged receipt of a request to investigate the matter by Labor MK Nachman Shai.
to Shapira, it is not obvious that the issue comes under his
jurisdiction, and he has not received an official request from the State
Control Committee, the committee he most directly answers to, to
Shapira said that it is better for his office to get
involved only when a formal request is made by proper channels, not by
request by individual Knesset members.
A number of MKs had called for the state comptroller or a
government inquiry commission to probe the events. MK Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi),
the chairman of the control committee in the last five months of the 18th
Knesset, had requested that the temporary Knesset House Committee reinstate the
panel and put him at its head, in order to discuss the incident and vote to form
a government inquiry commission.
In letters to temporary Knesset Speaker
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) and interim Knesset House Committee chairman Ze’ev
Elkin (Likud Beytenu), Ariel had explained that “a temporary chairman for the
control committee must be appointed in light of the difficult findings in this
“There was a slip-up here,” Ariel told Army Radio. “We don’t
understand what happened here; therefore the Knesset needs to have its say and
form an inquiry commission.”
MK Nachman Shai (Labor) called for State
Comptroller Joseph Shapira to investigate the “Prisoner X” case.
witnessing failures in many aspects of this incident: Intelligence, legal,
public, media and parliament,” Shai stated.
The Labor MK warned that the
Australian government will soon publicize further information on the case and
Israel will be “an empty vessel” facing international public
“Time is a crucial factor, and I demand that the state
comptroller limit the time of the investigation and commit to publicizing his
findings for the public to see as soon as possible,” Shai said.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.