Australia expels Israeli diplomat over fake murder passports

Australia said it had ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over fake Hamas murder passports.

Australia expels Israeli diplomat over fake murder passports

Australia's government said on Monday it had ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat after an investigation found the country responsible for forging four Australian passports implicated in the slaying of a Hamas leader in Dubai in January.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said an investigation had left no doubt that Israeli intelligence services had been behind the forgery of four Australian passports used by suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room.

Smith told Parliament on Monday that Israel's conduct was "not the actions of a friend."

"No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government," Smith said.

He said the government had asked that a member of Israel's Australian embassy in Canberra be withdrawn within a week.

Four Australians -- Nicole McCabe, Joshua Bruce, Adam Korman and Joshua Krycer -- had their identities stolen and used in fake passports held by suspects believed to be involved in the assassination, Smith said.

Smith said the passport cloning operation used in his killing was of high quality and had obviously been state-backed.

Dubai authorities have given names of alleged members of the team that tracked and killed the Palestinian, and said they used fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports to enter and leave Dubai.

Britain took similar action in March after concluding there was compelling evidence that Israel was responsible for the use of doctored British passports in the plot.


Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2010, 11:20
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