Family to sue Israel over Mossad agent’s jail death

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THE family of an alleged Australian Mossad agent who died in an ­Israeli prison are suing Israel for compensation.

Ben Zygier, 34, is a member of a Melbourne Jewish family who immigrated to Israel.

He is said to have killed himself in 2010 while being secretly detained.

Talks between the Israel and his family are said to be at a preliminary stage, with Israel not yet admitting prison authorities were at fault, a claim made this week on Australian TV, which described Mr Zygier as an officer in Israel’s secret service. Neither Australia nor Israel have confirmed this. Military censorship and gagging orders kept many details of the case from the media in Israel, where there has been speculation that the state believes Mr Zygier betrayed Mossad’s work abroad.

The Haaretz daily said Israel agreed to pay hefty damages weeks ago, when an internal inquest declared his death suicide.

Australian media reported Mr Zygier was one of at least three dual nationals being investigated by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisations on suspicion of spying for Israel. He was found dead in his cell where he had been held in isolation.