A second unnamed prisoner only known as ‘Prisoner X’ is being held under top-secret conditions in Israel’s Ayalon prison, AFP and Haaretz is reporting.
According to court documents, the mysterious inmate is being held under similar conditions, but for more severe crimes than Ben Zygier — an alleged Mossad agent and Australian national dubbed ‘Prisoner X’, who committed suicide in the prison in December 2010, creating a huge stir in Israeli intelligence circles.
On an Israeli radio show Tuesday, attorney Avigdor Feldman, who was the last person to see Zygier alive, revealed the existence of the second prisoner.
According to Feldman, “this affair points to far more severe failures than the ones committed by the defence establishment in Zygier’s case. Regarding Zygier’s case, the authorities that recruited him didn’t understand who they were dealing with and weren’t aware of his conduct. OK – that’s a failure. Prisoner X number two is an entirely different story – a horrible security breach. When I heard the story, as an Israeli citizen I was shocked, and the subject was completely silenced by lawyers who enjoy close ties with the establishment. Whoever opens this affair will be doing the country a great service.”
Earlier Tuesday, Feldman compared the two cases on Army Radio: “One: they’re both Israelis. Two: They worked for a security agency of the highest level of secrecy. Three — and this is important — their activity points to a security failure that allowed the crime to be committed, secrets to be kept, or other deeds to be done,” Feldman said on “Boker Tov Yisrael” (Good morning Israel).
The second prisoner is referred to in documents only as “the other inmate of Block 13.”
Exactly why both prisoners were incarcerated is not known, although Warren Reed, a former intelligence operative for Australia’s overseas spy agency ASIS, told ABC that Zygier’s alleged crime “would have to be involved with espionage, treachery – very, very sensitive information that known to others would pose an immediate threat to Israel as a nation state.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.