The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) suspected that Ben Zygier/ Alon
may have been involved in espionage, and questioned him on the matter long before he was arrested and imprisoned by Israeli authorities, Australia's Fairfax Media news agency reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Zygier, also knows as "Prisoner X," whose disappearance and alleged suicide in a maximum security prison cell gained global attention, was interrogated on suspicion that he had used his Australian passport to visit Israel’s enemy countries espionage purposes.
Fairfax's then-Middle East
correspondent Jason Koutsoukis spoke with Zygier on the phone and asked him if he was cooperating with the Mossad.
'''Who the f*** are you?" Zygier asked angrily in response. "What is this total bulls*** you are telling me?''
Zygier denied the reporter's claims, who accused the alleged spy of visiting Iran,
Lebanon and Syria
to spy for Israel:
''I have never been to any of those countries that you say I have been to; I am not involved in any kind of spying. That is ridiculous.''
'Prisoner X' investigation
On Tuesday, Australian television network ABC aired an investigation revealing that an Australian national who was had been held in isolation at the Ayalon Prison in Ramla, died in his cell in 2010. According to official documents, he committed suicide.
Reportedly, prior to incarceration, the man was working for the Israeli Mossad, and the State concealed not only his death, but also the matter of his confinement in the Israeli prison.
The case is regarded as one of the most sensitive secrets of Israel's intelligence community, with the government going to extraordinary lengths to stifle media coverage and gag attempts by human rights organizations to expose the situation.