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Lieberman on Ben Zygier: In Israel, People Don’t Just Disappear

Lieberman says Ben Zygier case was not a secret. ‘The prisoner’s rights were protected.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/26/2013, 12:52 PM

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman updated the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday regarding an inquiry into the Ben Zygier (“Prisoner X”) affair. Zygier committed suicide in an Israeli prison in 2010 in an incident which sparked controversy when recently revealed by the Australian media.

“To this point, based on the probing inquiries we have made, no fault has been found in the behavior of the parties involved,” Lieberman informed the committee, “or in the rights given to the prisoner under law prior to his suicide.”

From the moment of Zygier’s arrest “every step was followed by the relevant sources in the legal system, at the most senior level of authority,” he stated.

“I can say unequivocally that in Israel, people do not just disappear,” he declared. “No single body makes its own laws.”

The Zygier case sparked controversy due to the secrecy surrounding it. Zygier was imprisoned under a false name – something defense officials say was done with his consent – and was held separately from other prisoners.

The details of his alleged wrongdoing have not been made public for security reasons, leading to unverified rumors that he leaked details of highly classified Israeli defense information.

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met Tuesday to vote in a new member: MK Yitzchak Herzog of the Labor party. Herzog will serve on the temporary sub-committee for Information and Secret Services, which is involved in investigating the Zygier case.