Dubai assassination: Smith has report

April 11, 2010 Agencies
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Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has received the Australian Federal Police report on the use of fake Australian passports being used in the Dubai assassination of Hamas leader Hahmoud al-Mabhouh.Veteran TV journalist Laurie Oakes quizzed him on this issue on Channel 9’s “Sunday” program.

The text follows

LAURIE OAKES: Now, Minister, there’s the issue of the use of fake Australian passports by an assassination team that killed a Hamas leader in Dubai. You ordered an AFP investigation of that. What stage has it reached?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, on Friday, early afternoon Friday, I received a report from the Australian Federal Police. I haven’t yet had the opportunity of very carefully considering that, but it’s clear from a preliminary assessment of that report that I need to get further advice and see further work and have further discussion with other agencies. And when that work has been done, and I’ve had the chance to fully consider, not just the AFP report, but also that further work and advice from other agencies, then I’ll make the detail of the Government’s deliberations about this matter public. But I’m not giving you a timetable…

LAURIE OAKES: When you refer to other agencies, I assume you’re talking about our intelligence agencies?

STEPHEN SMITH: Yes, I’m talking about our intelligence agencies, about ASIO and ASIS. There’s no point in being coy about that.

Further work is required. Further consideration is required. When that is done, I’ll let the Government’s decision about these matters be known publicly. But I’m not putting a timetable on it, nor am I proposing to give any commentary or talk about it other than to indicate to you what I’ve said. It’ appropriate to wait until all of that exhaustive work has been done.

LAURIE OAKES: Why has it taken so long? The British did their investigation much faster than we have. We had access to their information. Why are we so slow?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, I don’t think that’s right. I certainly would not characterise it in that way.

The issue became an issue for us 10 or 14 days after it became clearly an issue for the British. They made their response 10 or 14 days ago.

I want to make sure that we get this right. I need further work done by our intelligence agencies and I’m going to get this right rather than rush it in any way. It’s a very important issue. It has very significant ramifications for use of passports and our relationships with a number of countries and I’m not proposing to be rushed. I want the exhaustive work to be done carefully and properly.

LAURIE OAKES: Minister, we thank you.

STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks, Laurie, thanks very much.


One Response to “Dubai assassination: Smith has report”
  1. Exenon says:

    When did we last hear of an international probe of this magnitude when terrorists used false passports,issued no doubt by legitimate regimes whith a vested interest in causing terorist outrages? The world holds up its hands in mock horror at the death of one renowned murderer because he did not have a fair trial under the auspices of international law. When do any of them face trial? They are a protected species, or is it that their targets are considered justified by the the anti Israel re. anti semetic “some of my best friends are” apologists for Hammas, black september and the Al Alaqsa brigades.

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