These and other details were revealed on Tuesday with the publication of part of a report on the Israeli government’s investigation of the death of the man, who was identified in news reports last week as Benjamin Zygier, an Australian-Israeli. Zygier was held secretly in solitary confinement for months, awaiting trial on serious charges relating to national security.
The judge who conducted the probe concluded that Zygier’s death was a suicide and was not “caused by a criminal act,” according to the report. Still, it said, gaps in prison procedures created “a suicidal window of opportunity” that demands further investigation into possible negligence by the authorities, including “the higher echelons.”
“There was no disagreement that a willing act of the deceased is what brought about his suicide,” wrote the judge, Daphna Blatman Kedrai. “But the fact is that the mission of supervising the deceased according to known orders was not carried out.” She added, “There is possible evidence to the guilt of elements in the prison authority in causing the death.”
Much remains unclear about Zygier, who used the name Ben Alon in Israel and was 34 when he died.