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The Melbourne man dubbed ”Prisoner X” received no consular assistance from Australian officials despite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade having been told of his detention by Israeli authorities nearly 10 months before he killed himself in jail.

And Australia’s forgiving response to Israel’s failure to formally advise that it had jailed dual-citizen Ben Zygier could imperil other dual citizens arrested in other countries, a top international law expert says.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed on Thursday that ASIO informed the department in February 2010 that Israeli authorities were holding Mr Zygier because of ”serious offences under Israeli national security legislation”.

He told a Senate estimates hearing the government had ”relied on” assurances by Israel that Mr Zygier was being well treated, that his family knew of his detention and that he was getting legal representation.

Asked by Greens senator Christine Milne why no embassy official had…

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