x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arrest warrants issued for Hamas murder suspects

International arrest warrants are issued against 11 people suspected in the murder of Hamas commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai.

The victim, Mahmoud al Mabhouh, returns to his hotel.
The victim, Mahmoud al Mabhouh, returns to his hotel.

International arrest warrants were today issued against 11 people suspected of involvement in the murder of Hamas commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai last month. A day after police unveiled dramatic video footage of the gang's movements across Dubai on the day of the murder, January 19, Dubai Public Prosecution said it had issued warrants against the 11 people, who were carrying European passports. The warrants are for premeditated murder. Police yesterday said the main suspect is Peter Elvinger, 49, who holds a French passport. He was the gang's logistical co-ordinator and the one who booked room 237 in Al Bustan Rotana, down the corridor from the victim's room - 230.

The other suspects were identified as Irish passport holders Gail Folliard, Kevin Daveron and Evan Dennings; British passport holders Paul John Keely, Stephan Daniel Hodes, Melvyn Adam Mildiner, Jonathan Louis Graham, James Leonard Clarke and Michael Lawrence Barney. Also wanted is Michael Bodenheimer, who carried a German passport. A man in Israel with the same name as one of the suspects said today he was "angry, upset and scared" over what he called a misidentification. Speaking in British-accented English, Melvyn Adam Mildiner, resident of a town near Jerusalem, told Reuters he had nothing to do with the assassination and had never been to Dubai. "I woke up this morning to a world of fun," he said in a sarcastic tone, after Israeli newspapers splashed names and photos of the suspects distributed by Dubai. "I am obviously angry, upset and scared -- any number of things. And I'm looking into what I can do to try to sort things out and clear my name," he said in a telephone interview. "I don't know how this happened or who chose my name or why, but hopefully we'll find out soon," said Mr Mildiner, a technical writer. "It's not me. Which is one silver lining on this entire story because at least I can point to it and say, 'Look, that's not me,'. "I have my passport. It is in my house, along with the passports of everybody else in my family, and there's no Dubai stamps in it because I've never been to Dubai." Dubai's Attorney General Essam al Humaidan said the UAE had signed judicial agreement treaties with many of those countries, and that he was hopeful the agreements would allow for "extradition of the suspects wherever they hide". Meanwhile, doubts were cast today on the authenticity of the passports of those suspected of being involved in the assassination. Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs told Associated Press that Folliard, Dennings and Daveron did not appear on the register of official Irish passport holders. Their claims were supported by Irish officials in Abu Dhabi. "We are unable to identify any of those three individuals as being genuine Irish citizens," the department told AP. "Ireland has issued no passports in those names." The Irish government said Irish passport numbers publicised by Dubai Police are also counterfeit, because they have the wrong number of digits and contain no letters. newsdesk@thenational.ae *with Reuters