Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed Wednesday that that some people in the Dept. of Foreign Affairs knew in 2010 that “Prisoner X” Ben Zygier, alias Ben Allen, was being held in a high-security Israeli jail.
“A spokeswoman for Senator Carr says the Minister was initially advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) was unaware of Mr. Zygier’s detention,” reported Australia’s ABC network. “DFAT has now advised that some officers of the department were made aware of Mr. Allen’s detention at the time in 2010 by another Australian agency,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
It broke the story on Tuesday that Prisoner X was a former Mossad agent who hanged himself in jail in 2010 after having been arrested an incarcerated for a crime that still is unknown but assumed to be extremely grave.
Carr’s admission is bound to raise questions about secrecy in Australia at the same time Israelis are fearful that the Mossad or the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) was behind a “disappearing act” of imprisoning Zygier without any due process of law.
ABC also reported Yuval Rotem, the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, met with the deputy Opposition leader in Canberra, Julie Bishop.
Rotem told her he would inform Israeli officials of her concerns over the entire affair.
“If there are security considerations I can understand it, but if it’s just about embarrassing a government agency, then that certainly requires an explanation and I’ll be seeking one,” said Bishop.