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Israel to pay family of 'Prisoner X' over $1 million

Israel is to pay the family of the "Prisoner X" - a suspected Mossad agent who committed suicide in prison - over $1 million (830,000 euros). However, the money was not an admission of "wrongdoing," it has said.

Family members of Ben Zygier, an Australian-Israeli citizen better known as "Prisoner X," would receive compensation worth 4 million shekels ($1.1 million; 830,000 euros), according to Israel's justice ministry and Israeli media.

A reaction from Zygier's family was not immediately available.

Israel's justice ministry decided to reach a settlement this week in order to avoid the publication of sensitive information, according to the news agency AFP, adding that the deal was not an "admission of alleged wrongdoing."

In February, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation first reported the mysterious case of "Prisoner X," the Australian-Israeli citizen who was found dead in his cell in December 2010. He was believed to have been working for Israel's spy agency Mossad. The television report prompted Israel's parliament to launch an investigation into his fate.

The investigative committee announced its finding in April, in which it accused the prison of negligence in the death of Zygier, whom the committee said prison guards had not adequately supervised.

Zygier had been held in isolation in Ayalon prison (pictured above) near Tel Aviv for allegedly releasing information about other Mossad agents linked to an operation in Lebanon. The report indicated he had had a dramatic exchange with his wife the same day he was found dead in his cell.

kms/mz (AFP, dpa)