Dubai officials seek five more for Hamas murder

By Jessica Elgot, May 6, 2010
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Poster of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was killed by a hit squad in Dubai.

Poster of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was killed by a hit squad in Dubai.

Dubai officials have identified five new suspects in their enquiry into the murder of a senior Hamas terrorist in January.

The additional suspects bring the total to 32. They are accused of being part of a hit squad in Dubai who murdered Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel.

International investigators believe an Israeli national, Zev Barkan, who was sought in New Zealand in 2004 for passport fraud, may be connected to the Dubai case.

He has never directly faced enquiries in New Zealand since he was suspected of forging New Zealand passports.

The incident caused a diplomatic spat between Jerusalem and Wellington, as a result of which Israel was forced to apologise.

New Zealand officials said that Mr Barkan worked for the Israeli government, which an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied.

The five newly identified suspects may also have been carrying forged passports from Britain, Australia and France, the Wall Street Journal online reported.

In March, the UK expelled an Israeli diplomat over the use of British passports by the hit squad which carried out the Dubai murder.

    Last updated: 3:38pm, May 6 2010