The grave of Ben Zygier
The grave of Ben Zygier (Reuters)

Ben Zygier, the suspected Israeli-Australian spy who allegedly committed suicide at a high-security prison in Tel Aviv three years ago, was detained by Mossad for leaking secret information to Australia's domestic intelligence agency ASIO, according to ABC news channel.

The report claims Zygier, who is said to have been a Mossad agent, told ASIO about a major operation in Italy, planned by the Israeli secret service over several years.

Zygier had applied for a work visa to Italy on one of his trips back to Australia, according to the report, which did not specify whether Zygier or ASIO had initiated the contact.

Last week, ABC revealed that Zygier was 'Prisoner X', the hitherto anonymous inmate who hanged himself in Ayalon prison in 2010.

The Israeli parliament has subsequently announced that a group of lawmakers will investigate the 'Prisoner X' case. The Knesset foreign affairs and defence subcommittee for intelligence plans to hold an "intensive examination" of the circumstances surrounding the death of Zygier.

After joining Mossad in 2000, Zygier assumed at least other names - Ben Alon, Ben Allen and Benjamin Burrows.

Recent reports suggest that, prior to his death, Zygier was also ready to tell the Australian government and/or the news media that Mossad was using foreign passports for overseas operations.

Israel informed Australia's secret service of the spy's arrest eight days after Dubai police disclosed a Mossad plot to use foreign passports during an assassination attempt on Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.