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Israeli lawmaker confirms second prisoner held in secret


19:37, July 10, 2013

JERUSALEM, July 10 (Xinhua) -- An influential Israeli lawmaker confirmed Wednesday that another secret prisoner was held in the country besides Ben Zygier, a Mossad spy whose identity and suicide were exposed by the media.

Avigdor Lieberman, chief of the parliament's committee of security and foreign affairs, confirmed the case after court documents revealed it on Tuesday.

During the committee's discussion on Wednesday, Lieberman, also a former foreign minister, said the second prisoner was sent to prison in a case he described as "particularly serious."

Furthermore, Lieberman assured that the government "protects all rights" of the prisoners.

On Tuesday, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that all of the procedures regarding the prisoner were "done with the court's approval" and criticized Israeli media 's "irresponsible" reports.

However, leader of the left-wing Party Meretz Zehava Gal-On demanded an inquiry into the circumstances of the second prisoner' s lockup.

"The revelation that there is another secret prisoner is serious and worrying," she wrote on her Facebook page. "In a democracy, there cannot be secret prisoners, with no outside supervision of where and under what conditions they are held."

Israeli court authorities started an inquiry into the death of Zygier, an Australian national referred to as "Prisoner X." He committed suicide in his cell in December 2010 after 10 months of lockup.

The probe revealed that another secret prisoner was held in the same prison for security-related charges. However, the reason for his lockup is unclear, nor is whether he is still in prison.

In addition, the investigation found the jail was understaffed and that one of the surveillance cameras in Zygier's cell was not working properly at the time of his death.

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