No charges against Israel Prisons Service in Zygier suicide

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s state prosecutor will not bring criminal charges against the Israel Prison Service for the death of dual Australian-Israeli national Ben Zygier.
The prosecutor’s report released on Thursday showed that there is evidence that Zygier, who was previously known as Prisoner X, died after committing suicide on Dec. 15, 2010 in the high-security Ayalon Prison near Tel Aviv, as a result of failures by the Israel prison service, but that there is not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the prison service or any of its personnel.

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According to the report, prepared by Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai, president of the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court , on the day of his suicide Zygier received a visit from his wife, at which time he received “bad news.”

The report also said that Zygier attempted suicide twice while in prison, and also saw three different psychiatrists and met with social workers 57 times during his nine months in prison.

The case has not been closed, which means prison officials could still be charged with negligence in Zygier’s death at a later date.

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