Prisoner X wasn’t noticed hanging ‘for an hour’

Updated 22 February 2013
0

Prisoner X wasn’t noticed hanging ‘for an hour’

JERUSALEM: Israeli guards supposedly keeping a round-the-clock watch on a mystery dual nationality prisoner held in isolation failed to notice his suicide for a full hour, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Although his cell was fitted with four CCTV cameras, the guards did not see Ben Zygier, identified by media as an Australian-Israeli Mossad agent, remove a sheet from his bed and take it with him into the shower cubicle.
“For an unknown reason, none of the guards discerned him doing that,” the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported.
It said that one camera covered the shower “in a way that allowed for the prisoner’s head to be visible without invading his more intimate privacy.”
“It was only after an entire hour had passed that (the guards) realized that the prisoner was nowhere to be seen in any of the areas picked up by the four cameras, at which point they rushed to his cell, where they discovered his body dangling in the shower stall,” it said.
“They were busy with something else,” an prisons service official told the paper.
“The bottom line is that the prisoner died, and we failed in our job of keeping him alive.”
Findings of an inquest, which were only released for publication on Tuesday, showed Zygier committed suicide in his cell at Ayalon prison on December 15, 2010.
The details emerged after a court loosened a gag order on the case.
Israel has gone to extreme lengths to cover up the story of Zygier’s arrest and death in captivity, imposing a media blackout that was only partially eased last week after Australian broadcaster ABC said he had been jailed in top-secret conditions.
Israel’s parliament is to launch an “intensive” inquiry into the arrest and death of Zygier, who immigrated to Israel around 2001 and was arrested for reasons which remain unknown, in February 2010.


Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

Updated 44 min 44 sec ago
0

Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday that allegations of fraud in national elections held last week will be investigated, according to a statement from his office.
The electoral list of Moqtada Al-Sadr, a populist Shiite cleric, unexpectedly won the biggest number of seats in the May 12 ballot.
The fraud claims have centered on the city of Kirkuk — although there have been reports of irregularities in multiple provinces — and focused on the tabulation system in electronic voting machines that were used for the first time during the election.
A special committee appointed by the cabinet will investigate the allegations, Abadi’s office said.
Some candidates have also expressed concerns about voter intimidation and reports of chaotic distribution of ID cards, which they claim disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people.
Following several days of complaints — including a call for an investigation by the UN’s senior envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis — the country’s electoral commission said on Monday it had invalidated ballots from 103 polling stations in five provinces.
The investigatory committee, which will include advisers from the security and intelligence sectors, will have access to all documents pertaining to the electoral process, including from the electoral commission.
The commission could not immediately be reached for comment.