Israel has signed an agreement with the family of former Mossad agent Ben Zygier, Channel 2 reports. The state will pay 4 million shekels in compensation to the family for Zygier’s death in an Israeli prison in December 2010.
Zygier managed to commit suicide in a solitary confinement cell, despite being under supervision.
According to the report, 2,400,000 shekels will be paid this year, and another 400,000 will be given per year for the four years that follow.
The agreement did not hold the state responsible for Zygier’s death, whether through negligence, lack of supervision, improper screening of prison guards, or failure to report suicidal tendencies.
In April 2013 State Attorney Moshe Lador determined that there were serious mistakes made in the supervision over Zygier, but that there was not enough evidence to bring charges.
“It cannot be established that the evidence proves, with the certainty required in a criminal trial, that Israel Prisons Services people or others negligently caused the deceased’s death,” he stated.
Zygier’s death became public knowledge in Israel only in early 2013, more than two years after his suicide. The case was originally revealed in the Australian media.
It has not been revealed why Zygier, who held both Australian and Israeli citizenship, had been imprisoned. Australian officials guessed that Zygier was arrested for something “more serious” than simply sharing information with Australia; media speculation included suggestions that the ex-agent had unwittingly sabotaged a secret operation, or had planned to disclose details of Israel’s use of foreign passports for Mossad agents, or had leaked sensitive information to Hezbollah.
Israel sources suggested that Zygier’s regret for his actions – whatever they were – was the motive for his suicide.