More fake passports a possibility

A PALESTINIAN commander killed in Dubai by an assassination team using fake Irish passports was drugged and then suffocated, according to police in the Gulf state.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has not ruled out the possibility of more fake Irish passports emerging as being involved in the killing, as Dubai authorities yesterday said even more details were set to be revealed.

Dubai has identified 26 suspects in the murder and said they used British, Irish, French and Australian passports. Six of the assassins involved in the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh used forged Irish passports. However, Dubai police told local media yesterday that one more identity was set to be added to the list of suspects, which would bring to 27 the number of those involved.

Chief of Dubai Police Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said police were likely to name the other suspect very soon.

Forensic results released yesterday showed al-Mabhouh’s killers used a quick-acting muscle relaxant to make the death seem “natural”.

Dubai has accused Israeli secret service Mossad of carrying out the hit with the use of fake passports, but Israel has neither confirmed or denied the accusation.

The use of the European and Australian passports in the assassination has sparked a diplomatic row between those countries and Israel.

European Affairs Minister Dick Roche yesterday reiterated Ireland’s anger over the use of Irish passport details in the January 20 hit.

Israel would face “serious repercussions”, if it was found to be behind the assassination.

Garda sources said yesterday they were still awaiting a “Commission Rogatoire” from Dubai authorities, a formal letter of request from courts there for evidence from Ireland which could help prosecute the killers.

Officials from Iveagh House liaising with gardaí have spoken to the six original Irish passport holders and in a bid to identify where their document details were copied or stolen.

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