The British man linked to the murder of Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has said he is the victim of mistaken identity and is determined to clear his name.
Dubai has identified Melvyn Adam Mildiner, 31, as one of six British passport holders believed to have been involved in the death of al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel.
At least 7 of the members of the assassination team in Dubai had passports with the names of real people, six British and one German. Most of the 'real names' were those of olim.
Speaking from his home near Jerusalem, Mr Mildiner told the JC: “The details of the passport are not all wrong. My name is spelt correctly and the number is correct, but the date of birth was wrong. The picture with it is not me. Whoever took my identity took parts of it but not everything.
“I have my own real passport stored properly here at home. It has not, as far as I am aware, been away. It has no Dubai stamps. I have never been to Dubai.”
I have my own real passport stored properly here at home. It has not, as far as I am aware, been away. It has no Dubai stamps. I have never been to Dubai. Melvyn Mildiner
Mr Mildiner, who was born in London and made aliyah in 2001, added: “I went to bed with pneumonia and woke up accused of murder on an international scale.”
He said no British or Israeli officials had yet contacted him to discuss the situation.
He has hired a lawyer and is awaiting advice on how to clear his name.
A British Foreign Office spokesperson said:“This is an ongoing Emirati investigation to which we have offered our assistance and support. We are aware that the holders of six British passports have been named in this case.
"We believe the passports used were fraudulent and have begun our own investigation. We have informed the authorities in the UAE that this is the case, and continue to cooperate closely with the Emiratis on this matter.”
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs told Associated Press that the three Irish citizens allegedly involved in the plot “do not exist”.
The names of Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron do not appear in Ireland's records of legitimate passport holders. The department said the passports shown by Dubai officials were counterfeits with the wrong number of digits and no letters.
The other Britons named by Dubai police are Stephen Daniel Hodes, Paul John Keeley, Michael Lawrence Barney, James Leonard Clarke, and Jonathan Louis Graham.
The gang, wearing tennis clothes, and some in glasses, fake beards and wigs are now said to be on the run. They are believed to have arrived on separate planes and spent less than a day in the country.
Other members of the gang were using French and German passports.
Mr al-Mabhouh was found suffocated in his hotel room. CCTV footage released of the assassination shows the assassins following him in the elevator and checking into a room across the hall.
Four of the assassins broke into his room while he was out and pounced on his return.
Dubai has allegedly told Hamas to steer clear of the investigation, but Hamas has opened its own inquiry with the help of Syria and Iran. Hamas would not confirm that Mr al-Mabhouh had been en route to Iran.
In 1997, Mossad agents were caught using Canadian passports during a failed assassination attempt on Hamas official Khalid Mashall in Jordan.