Australian PM demands answers from Israel

Australian PM Kevin Rudd has vowed to "get to the bottom" of how suspected Mossad assassins used Australian passports to travel to Dubai to kill a top Hamas commander, reports MiNDFOOD.

On February 24 Dubai police named 15 new suspects in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was found dead in his hotel room last month in what police have said they are almost certain was an Israeli hit.

Police say three of the suspects travelled to the emirate on Australian passports in the names of Adam Korman, Bruce Joshua Daniel and Nicole Sandra McCabe.

This morning Mr Rudd told AM that the Israeli ambassador was being summoned to meet Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to explain the latest development.

Mr Rudd said officials had been working on the case through the night and pledged the Government would “not let the matter rest” and that Australia “will not be silent on the matter”.

“If Australian passports are being used or forged by any state, let alone for the purpose of assassination, this is of the deepest concern and we are getting to the bottom of this now,” he said.

“We will not leave a single stone unturned.”

Asked what action the Government may take against Israel, Mr Rudd replied: “Let us establish the facts first.”

The three Australians named will be contacted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“This is not just a deep concern for the Australian Government, it must be therefore the deepest concern to any individual associated with this as well,” Mr Rudd said.

Mr Smith will make a further statement today following his meeting with the Israeli ambassador.

Mr Korman, 34, is Australian-born but lives in Tel Aviv where he sells musical instruments.

In an interview with Israeli media he has denied any involvement and says he is the victim of identity theft.

AM tried to contact him, along with a Bruce Daniel who lives near Haifa in Israel’s north, but neither was answering the phone.

But Mr Korman has told Israel’s biggest newspaper Yediot Aharonot that he is shocked over what has happened.

“It’s identity theft. Simply unbelievable,” he is quoted as saying.

“It’s a violation of human rights to do such a thing. I have travelled all over the world but never visited Dubai or the United Arab Emirates.”

Mr Korman also told the paper he was perplexed as to how he could fly to Australia again now that he is considered an international suspect.

“I have been frightened and shocked since receiving the news,” he reportedly said.

AM has confirmed that Australian Nicole Sandra McCabe also lives in Israel.

When contacted this morning, her family in Australia said they had no knowledge of her name being linked to the Dubai investigation.

Dubai police have released new information about the movements of the 26 suspects before and after the assassination.

All had apparently travelled to Dubai from one of six European cities or Hong Kong, and each left the country to various destinations, including Hong Kong and Iran, before returning to Europe where they apparently abandoned the fraudulent passports.

Many had also used credit cards issued by the same US bank.

Police also released new vision from the hotel’s security cameras showing the man named as Mr Daniel with one of the French suspects inside the hotel.

2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.



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