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Australia admits it knew of 'Prisoner X' in detention

Published on Feb 14, 2013 9:02 AM
 
An Israeli prison guard stands outside Ayalon prison in Ramle near Tel Aviv on Feb 13, 2013. Australia's foreign minister, Mr Bob Carr, admitted on Thursday Canberra knew an Australian had been detained by Tel Aviv in 2010 for national security offences, as media suggested he may have been held for treason. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Foreign Minister Bob Carr admitted on Thursday Canberra knew an Australian had been detained by Tel Aviv in 2010 for national security offences, as media suggested he may have been held for treason.

Mr Carr's revelation, following an earlier statement that he only became aware of the man's incarceration after his death, came after Israel confirmed it imprisoned a foreigner in solitary confinement on security grounds that year.

The man, identified by Australian media as Mossad agent Ben Zygier, committed suicide in a jail near Tel Aviv in a case the Israeli government went to extreme lengths to cover up, imposing media gagging orders.

Israel has not revealed the identity of the so-called "Prisoner X" nor the charges against him, but The Australian newspaper suggested he was detained for treason.

 
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