Canada to Probe Use of Its Passport in Mossad Affair
Canada to probe use of its passport in New Zealand affair
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent Elisha Cara, left, and Uri Kelman during their sentencing in an Auckland court two weeks ago for illegally trying to obtain a New Zealand passport. (AP)
The Canadian Foreign Ministry confirmed Saturday that an investigation has begun into why Mossad agent Uriel Kelman, currently jailed in Auckland, used a Canadian passport to gain entry into New Zealand, in violation of an Israeli promise to refrain from using Canadian passports for illegal purposes.
Kelman and fellow Israeli Elisha Cara were imprisoned for six months earlier this month for attempting to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand passport.
A report on the Canadian investigation was first published in the New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced after the Auckland court's verdict two weeks ago, that Kelman and Cara had operated "on behalf of the intelligence services of Israel."
The use of Canadian passports by Mossad agents came to light in 1997, following a failed attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Jordan.
In the wake of the incident, Canada demanded that Israel cease using its passports, and the Israeli government gave its commitment to refrain from using the documents for illegal purposes.
The Canadian investigation will focus on why Kelman used the passport and for what purpose. A spokesman for the Canadian government said that Kelman, who is a Canadian national, had used his own passport and not a forged one.
Kelman used the passport in 1999 to enter New Zealand.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem said it was unaware of any ongoing investigation in Canada into Mossad use of Canadian passports.
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