Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dubai seeks Israel PM’s arrest over hotel murder

Jordon Times

DUBAI (AFP) - Dubai police said Tuesday they are seeking the arrest of Israel's prime minister and the head of its spy agency over the murder of a Hamas leader in a hotel room of the Gulf city state.

Police chief Dahi Khalfan said he had issued the demand for the arrest warrants as he was now certain they ordered the cold war-style hit on Mahmoud Al Mabhuh.

"I have presented the [Dubai] prosecutor with a request for the arrest of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the head of Mossad Meir Dagan,” said Khalfan.

"I am now completely sure that it was Mossad," said the police lieutenant general.

Mabhuh, a founder of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas organisation's military wing, was found dead in a room of the luxurious Al Bustan Rotana Hotel near Dubai's airport on January 20.

Dubai police have identified 26 suspects from the hit squad murder they say bore the hallmarks of the Mossad. The Hamas man had been drugged and then suffocated.

Khalfan said last month that Dubai would issue an arrest warrant for Netanyahu if Israel was found to be implicated in the murder of the Palestinian figure.

Netanyahu "will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill Mabhuh in Dubai", he was quoted as saying in The National newspaper on February 5.

"We will issue an arrest warrant against him," said the English-language newspaper published in Abu Dhabi.

Police say the suspects entered Dubai on fake passports using the identities of 12 people from Britain, six from Ireland, four from France, three Australians and a German, before fleeing the Gulf emirate.

Two members of the hit squad which killed Mabhuh had "returned to the United States after passing through a European country", said Dhalfan, who on Monday said the suspects were hiding out in Israel where they could avoid arrest.

Israeli officials have refused to confirm or deny the reports.

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