The recent death of Israeli intelligence officer Captain Tomer Eiges in a military prison has sparked huge controversy and has been shrouded in mystery. Following his death, there was intense speculation over whether the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was trying to cover up one of the biggest espionage stories of the decade.
This came after sources said he had been charged with espionage before his death, a claim denied by the IDF. Further controversy arose when IDF officials refused to provide details of the cause of death and did not provide information following an internal investigation.
Further developments following autopsy toxicology tests
Following immense pressure from the media and the public, IDF officials finally spoke out this week, admitting there was an ongoing espionage case. A senior IDF official said Eiges had committed a ‘very serious offense’ and that details had not been released in a bid to protect the officer’s modesty and that of his family.
There have now been further developments, reported by Ynet, with the results of an autopsy on the officer showing antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs present in his blood. This has raised questions over whether the officer's death might have resulted from medication. The results of the autopsy have been made public several weeks after Eiges’ death.
Eiges’ body was checked for signs of injury or bruising during the autopsy, with none found according to the report. However, toxicology testing revealed Eiges had been taking antipsychotics and antidepressants. These results have been sent to the office of the military prosecutor for further examination.
The IDF also addressed the press to state there were no security issues relating to the personal details and photo of the officer being published. However, they claimed that the family of Eiges had asked for a ban on the publication of the details. Despite this, the name of the officer has been circulating in the Israeli press all week.
An attorney representing the officer’s family gave an interview at the studios of Ynet yesterday. He said, “There is an attempt to judge the officer after his death and sentence him. For him, this is something unworthy and unfair. Unfortunately, the officer is no longer alive and so his staining also harms family members. There is even a sense of desecration of the dead.”
Press pushes for charges to be published
Despite finally bowing to media and public pressure to speak out about the case, the IDF continues to face a backlash over the publication of the charges against Eiges. Ynet and the media, in general, are pushing for publication of the charges to be allowed.
The president of the Military Court of Appeals in the Kirya, General Doron Piles, said that both military officials and the family of the officer would respond to these arguments in due course and that a hearing will be scheduled for the coming week.