Knesset Panel Finds ‘Serious Failure’ in Handling and Recruitment of Prisoner X
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has determined that the process of recruiting Ben Zygier to the Mossad, as well as the course of his handling in the organization, constituted a “serious systemic failure,” according to an MK involved in the draft copy of the panel’s report. The MK spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.
On February 17, five days after the Australian Broadcasting Company broadcast about Ben Zygier – Prisoner X – the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee announced its Subcommittee for Intelligence would conduct “an intensive examination of all the aspects of the affair of the prisoner who was found dead in his cell in December 2010.”
The inquiry panel was headed by MK Aryeh Deri of Shas, who was joined by former Shin Bet security services chief MK Yaakov Perry of Yesh Atid, and MK Zeev Elkin of Likud. Committee Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman also participated in some of the panel’s discussions. After the formation of the new government on March 18 the composition of the committee changed, because some of its members were appointed ministers or deputy ministers.
Last week Amit Segal reported on Channel 2 that the committee would criticize “the manner in which Zygier was recruited and handled.” Ben Caspit reported in Sof Hashavua, the Hebrew-language magazine of the Jerusalem Post, that some of the MKs criticized the fact that Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo did not give them precise details regarding the failure to report Zygier’s arrest to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in real time. The committee heard testimony from Pardo and other senior Mossad members, Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen and senior members of his organization, leading Prison Service officials and Zygier’s attorneys, Roy Blecher, Moshe Mazor and Boaz Benzur.
Read more at Haaretz.com.