DEBKAfile February 12, 2013, 10:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi and left-wing Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On both put questions to Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman Tuesday about a so-called “Australian” said to have committed suicide in an Israeli jail.
Tibi: It is reported that a prisoner of Australian nationality committed suicide in an Israel jail under an identity that was not his own. Do you know about this case? Can you confirm this information?
MK Gal-On: Mr. Minister, I would like to hear your views on the fact that journalists are voluntarily censoring information at the request of the authorities. Do you think it appropriate for the Prime Minister’s Office to invite newspaper editors [for a meeting] to keep an affair potentially embarrassing to the government from being published? Are secret detentions possible in Israel on security grounds? In a previous episode, the Supreme Court ruled in response to my petition that secret detentions are absolutely prohibited in the state of Israel.
The Justice Minister replied that he was not in charge of the prison service and members should refer their questions to the Minister of Internal Security.
DEBKAfile: A court gag order bans publication of the “Australian case” by Israeli media, although it is widely covered in foreign and Arab publications. The two lawmakers took advantage of their immunity to cautiously open the case to the public.