Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan
says that claims that Ben Zygier,
AKA "Prisoner X," collaborated with Dubai authorities were untrue.
In an interview with the Arabian Business website, Khalfan denied reports that Zygier had notified
the government in Dubai about the assassination of Hamas
official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
in early 2010.
"He may have committed suicide after he was found out as a mercenary and a criminal," Khalfan postulated.
Earlier on Thursday, Kuwait's Al-Jarida newspaper reported
that Zygier was one of the members of the squad which assassinated al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January 2010.
Zygier and security camera footage of al-Mabhouh's assassins
Western sources told the paper that following the mission, Zygier contacted the government in Dubai and updated it on the details of the assassination in exchange for protection.
According to the report, which has not been confirmed by any other source, Israel managed to uncover Zygier's hiding place, kidnapped him and jailed him for treason, and all this while maintaining absolute secrecy.
However, Dubai's police chief has firmly denied the claims.
Also Thursday, Australia's Brisbane Times reported that Australian security officials suspect that Zygier may have been about to reveal
information about Israeli intelligence operations, including the use of fraudulent Australian passports for espionage purposes, either to the Australian government or to the media before he was arrested. However, the report did not state that this was the reason for Zygier's arrest.
Zygier "may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance,'' an Australian security official was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
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