JERUSALEM, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Justice Ministry acknowledged in an official statement sent to Xinhua Wednesday the existence of "prisoner X", who was held at a maximum security jail and committed suicide in 2010.
The story broke out Tuesday morning local time, as Israeli websites started picking up on an expose released in the Australian Broadcast Company, according to which 34 year-old Ben Zygier, originally from Melbourne, Australia, is the so-called anonymous prisoner.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office summoned editors from Israeli websites on Tuesday, after forcing them to take off the repots. However, legal deliberations took place after the story was widely reported in global media and the internet.
According to the expose, Zygier moved to Israel in the early 2000s. The Australian authorities reported Wednesday that he was probed for being an Israeli Mossad spy agent who had also visited in Lebanon and Iran.
"The Israeli prison authority held a prisoner who was an Israeli citizen who held a foreign citizenship," the Israeli justice ministry's statement said.
"For security reasons, the prisoner was held under an alias. However, his family was immediately notified regarding his arrest and he was represented in all the procedures by Israeli attorneys.. . He was held in jail under an arrest warrant granted from the certified court," it added.
"The prisoner's rights were kept in accordance with the law," it stated. The statement did not acknowledge the identity or the nationality of the prisoner.
Regarding the prisoner's death, the ministry said that "he was found dead in his cell two years ago." It stated that a probe was held into the circumstances of his death.
"The probe concluded that the incident was a suicide," the statement added.
However, since it took place in a maximum-security facility, a magistrate judge has ordered the state's prosecution to look into whether there was negligence on the behalf of the Israeli Prison Authority.