An intelligence officer who died in mysterious circumstances in a military prison last month has been charged with causing significant damage to national security and has confessed to many of his crimes, the military said on Monday after partially lifting gag orders under the still-strictly classified case.
Key details of the affair, including the officer’s identity and the exact nature of his alleged crimes, remain banned from publication under a court-ordered slanderous order backed by a military censor. This decision was confirmed by a military court on Monday, after a hearing on the issue, despite the fact that the name and photo of the serviceman have been widely circulated online in recent days.
However, the military allowed the publication that the officer had served in a military intelligence unit. Friends and colleagues of the officer describe him as an incredibly skilled computer programmer, a prodigy who started working in the field as a teenager.
According to the ID, the police officer was charged in September 2020 and is accused of “knowingly committing a number of acts that have seriously harmed national security.”
“The officer assisted in his interrogation and confessed to most of the acts in which he was charged,” the military said.
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However, the IDF maintains that the soldier acted alone and did not act on behalf of a foreign government, for financial reasons or due to a specific ideology, but rather for unspecified “personal reasons”.
The police officer has been charged with a number of security crimes and has been given additional weight by the accused against him in light of “significant damage caused by his alleged crimes”, the military said.
The IDF decided to lift parts of the two instability orders in the case – one for details of the charges against the police officer and the other for the circumstances surrounding his death – after a court hearing earlier in the day to ask his family and media outlets, calling for for details of the case to be released.
According to the ID, the officer had access to a senior military lawyer, who had full access to information about the charges against him. At the time of his death, he had not been convicted and was in the process of negotiating a plea agreement before the start of the evidentiary part of his trial.
The hearings against him were held behind closed doors, although members of his family were allowed to be present during parts of the trial, the military said.
The policeman was found in critical condition in his cell – which was under 24-hour surveillance with a security camera – on the night between May 16 and 17, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly afterwards, the military said.
Although an autopsy was performed – with a doctor on behalf of the family present – the official cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the IDF.
Disputing recent allegations to the contrary, the military said the officer was not in solitary confinement at the time of his death, but was in a normal cell with other prisoners. He was also imprisoned under his real name, not under a pseudonym, as has happened in some other cases involving allegations of serious crimes for national security. The ID added that the policeman was able to talk and see his family, as well as friends and comrades while he was in prison.
Following the soldier’s death, two internal investigations were launched into the matter by the IDF’s Human Resources Directorate, one dealing with the soldier’s case and the other with a more general military prison system, in particular “prisoners with special characteristics”, the ID said. .
The case of the police officer has been compared to what is called the “Prisoner X” affair, in which the Australian-Israeli double Ben Ziegier was found dead in prison in a suicide, which is defined as suicide, as he is awaiting trial on charges related to security.
Relatives of the spy, who died last month, have expressed suspicion that he committed suicide.
The designers of the prison where the police officer, Neve Cedek, was detained, told reporters when the facility was opened that it was specially designed to make it harder for prisoners to commit suicide, with closed-circuit cameras throughout the structure and specially designed reinforcement people from the opportunity to hang themselves.
“The officer was arrested for many months,” a relative told Channel 12.
A relative of the officer told Haaretz that “anger is in the attempt to make a person who has died in a military prison disappear.”
“We know nothing. To this day, no one has explained to us what happened, “said an unnamed relative. “The whole way the army behaves seems like an attempt to hide their failures. How can they try to destroy a person in this way? ”
Family members said that on the eve of the Shavuot festival, May 16, hours before his death, the police officer called his parents. Family sources said he did not sound worried and asked them to bring him clothes on their next visit, other personal belongings and treats to change into during his time in prison. The family also noted his previous transfer from a prison to Neve Tzedek “was good for him” and he was in a positive mood.
The serviceman is buried in a civilian cemetery plot and will not be recognized as a fallen soldier. The IDF said that was the case because the soldier was officially released from the army while he was in prison and therefore was not entitled to a military burial.