Australia’s Foreign Minister on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that a dual Australian-Israeli citizen who died in a maximum-security Israeli prison had been working for Israel, and he raised the possibility of a diplomatic spat if the man’s Australian passport was used for espionage.
Ben Zygier died in an apparent suicide in his prison cell in December 2010, and reports have said he had worked for the Mossad spy agency. Israel’s government has refused to release details about the case. Australia’s government has said only that Zygier, an Australian who immigrated to Israel, had been charged with unspecified security offenses.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said that Zygier was working for Israel’s government, though he would not confirm or deny reports he had worked for Mossad. But Mr. Carr warned that the case raises serious questions about the use of Australian passports by dual nationals, saying that if it’s confirmed Israel used Zygier’s passport for intelligence-gathering, Australia would register “the strongest protest.”