State Attorney Says Request to Publish Prisoner X Case Details Nothing but 'Voyeurism'

State attorney says Zygier case no longer in the public interest, but, in wake of Haaretz request, judge permits release of additional documents regarding the investigation.

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The state this week told a court that Haaretz was indulging in "nothing more than voyeurism" in its bid to make public documents about the investigation of the death of Mossad agent Ben Zygier.

"It is the right of Haaretz to fight to the end for the release of [these documents]," prosecutor Orly Ben Ari told Rishon Letzion Magistrate Court. "But," she added, "from the absence of any other media here, we may conclude it is no longer in the public interest to continue publishing details about this case."

About a month, ago the State Prosecutor's Office released previously embargoed material from the investigation, following requests by Haaretz and Channels 10 and 2.

Haaretz also asked to release protocols and investigative materials which had been embargoed for security reasons. Haaretz argued that once the decision was made not to indict anyone for Zygier's death, it was no longer possible to keep relevant documents secret for security reasons.

Zygier's family left the issue to the court's discretion but the state strongly objected to the release of the materials, citing "state interests" and the privacy of those involved.

"With all due respect to the desire to sell newspapers, one must consider the state's interests," Ben Ari argued. "Ultimately, the state needs to preserve them...and the people who are investigated in criminal cases should not be exposed."

Magistrate Court President, Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai, allowed the release of discussion protocols, interim decisions, state summaries and arguments, the family's response to the state summaries, details of the imprisonment conditions and prison inspection and supervision regulations. However, she withheld implementation of the ruling for 14 days to allow the state to appeal it.

Kedrai said she would decide about releasing diagrams of the cell Zygier was held in and the statements made by the Prison Service and Zygier's family after receiving the Prison Service's response.

The court banned the publication of any material that could harm Zygier and his family's privacy, such as camera footage of the cell, a listing of his telephone calls, medical and legal opinions and Zygier's medical portfolio.

The Prison Service's investigation committee file that looked into the circumstances of Zygier's death was also banned for publication.

A woman with an Australian newspaper showing the front page story of Ben Zygier in this photo illustration taken in Sydney on February 14, 2013.Credit: AFP

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