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truebeliever 10-08-2006 02:42 AM

Israeli Diplomat Expelled From Australia For Spying.

Amir Laty linked to Mossad spies in NZ

AM - Saturday, 19 February , 2005 08:08:00
Reporter: Louise Yaxley

ELIZABETH JACKSON: John Howard flies to New Zealand later today leaving behind uproar over the apparent expulsion of an Israeli diplomat late last year. Amir Laty left Australia in late December. The Federal Government won't say why and refuses to confirm that he had to get out or he would have been expelled.

But across the Tasman there is nothing quiet about the row with Israel. There, the Prime Minister Helen Clark cut off all high-level diplomatic contact over her accusation that two Israeli men were spies. While they're being handled very differently, the two cases are linked, as Louise Yaxley reports.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Amir Laty spent just over a year as a junior diplomat in Canberra. And he's reported to have spent plenty of that time drinking at the capital's nightspots and bars, mixing with a wide range of locals, especially women.

But also during that time he travelled to New Zealand to visit two Israeli men jailed for falsely trying to obtain a New Zealand passport. Those two men were later deported. Prime Minister Helen Clark claimed they were part of Israel's spy agency, Mossad.

That visit could have been part of Mr Laty's consular duties but there are suggestions it was much more and that his links to a bungled operation in New Zealand are the real reason he had to get out of Australia.

Jim Veitch is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Victoria in Wellington and he specialises in Middle Eastern affairs and terrorism.

JIM VEITCH: The Israeli diplomats in both countries have been under pressure and they've come under scrutiny for their activities and it's something that has affected, perhaps, the relationships with both our countries and Israel.

And Israel needs to mend those fences pretty quickly because Israel, I think, needs Australian support, more than it needs New Zealand's support. But now that there's been an incident in Australia that's come to light I think they're moving pretty quick to put things right.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Professor Veitch thinks Helen Clark is right to suspect Mossad.

JIM VEITCH: I am aware that Mossad is very active. It either works with people they employ on an associated basis or they use their own people. And Mossad becomes particularly active wherever it perceives that Muslim communities are becoming active and influential.

And I would think that the actions we've seen from the Israeli Government in this part of the world has been part of the attempt of the Israelis to keep an eye on what happens in the Muslim world and where the influences are marked and so on.

LOUISE YAXLEY: The Australian Government won't say why Mr Laty had to leave the country. The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says it wasn't because of a relationship with his daughter, Caitlin Ruddock.

But in New Zeland it's more straightforward because the two men were caught in a police sting and found guilty of trying to falsely obtain a new Zealand passport with an identity stolen from a wheel-chair bound New Zealand man.

Professor Veitch says that caused the freeze in relations between Israel and New Zealand.

JIM VEITCH: Helen Clark made it quite clear that all relationships with Israel would be put on hold until an apology had been received from Israel, and it appears that that apology is in the process of being negotiated through diplomatic channels.

The Ambassador of… the New Zealand Ambassador in Turkey, stationed in Ankara, has been approached from Israel and they are presumed to be working on the process of setting up the words that will eventually become public.

LOUISE YAXLEY: So while John Howard and Helen Clark prepare for a few days of focus on some issues common across the Tasman, it's likely that this time they'll also touch on a subject that doesn't regularly feature on that agenda – the extent of Israel's covert operations in this region.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Louise Yaxley with that report.

truebeliever 10-08-2006 02:49 AM

Re: Israeli Diplomat Expelled From Australia For Spying.

Israeli diplomat and suspected spy linked to Ruddock's daughter

AM - Friday, 18 February , 2005 08:00:00
Reporter: Catherine McGrath

TONY EASTLEY: But first, to Canberra.

ISRAELI EMBASSY ANSWERING MACHINE: Shalom, you have called the embassy of Israel. The embassy is closed for Australian and Jewish holidays. For urgent medical emergencies only please contact Mr Amir Laty in 040837365.

TONY EASTLEY: The answering machine at the Israeli Embassy in Canberra this morning, which still lists Amir Laty, the Israeli diplomat at the centre of a spy scandal is the after hours contact for consular matters.

It's been revealed that Mr Laty, the suspected Israeli spy was invited to the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's house for Christmas lunch by Mr Ruddock's youngest daughter, Caitlin. The Israeli diplomat was Second Secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Canberra.

Mr Laty never made it to the Christmas lunch because the Government began moves to expel him. Today neither government will comment about the reasons for his expulsion. He was expelled just after Christmas, although the Israeli Embassy in Canberra still has to update its out of hours phone message, as we heard.

Joining me now is our Chief Political Correspondent, Catherine McGrath.

Catherine McGrath, what's the relationship between Caitlin Ruddock and this man from the Israeli Embassy, Amir Laty?

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Well, Tony, that's really a matter of speculation this morning. The two reportedly met in Beijing. Now, Mr Ruddock's office is saying this morning simply that any acquaintance that Mr Laty had with the daughter of the Attorney-General had no bearing on his departure from Australia. They won't comment on how close that relationship allegedly was.

Amir Laty is accused of many things, as you know. The stories about his expulsion have been doing the rounds for several weeks now.

Now, he was either a spy sent here by Israel who met two jailed Mossad agents in New Zealand, or he was effectively a womaniser with a very active social life in Canberra, maybe both, maybe neither of those things. But he came to the attention of the Australians and was expelled from Australia just after Christmas.

The Australian Government, of course, though, now has to deal with the security implications of reports across the country on the front of every newspaper that Caitlin Ruddock, the daughter of the Attorney-General, had some sort of friendship with Amir Laty, invited him home for Christmas, but that invitation never went forward, and he was expelled from the country just after Christmas.

TONY EASTLEY: Now Catherine McGrath, what about the Opposition? What is it saying about this affair?

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Well, the Opposition isn't saying very much either. It's a very sensitive matter, of course. Now, the Opposition has been briefed by ASIO, so they are obviously restricted now in what they can say.

I spoke a short time to Kevin Rudd and he wouldn't disclose the details of his briefing.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, on the substance of this matter, or this case, Catherine, I can't go to the detail of it at all. This matter concerning the Israeli diplomat in question is a sensitive matter of national security, and therefore we have been briefed as an opposition by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and we are required to respect the confidentiality of that briefing. So I can't go to the detail of what this man has said or others may have said about this matter.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: However the political implications, the diplomatic implications for Australia you can comment on.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, the problem which arises is that any question about diplomatic impact goes to the circumstances surrounding this individual's case. That's why I'm reluctant to comment more broadly as well.

These are sensitive matters, and the Opposition is privileged to obtain national security briefings from ASIO, I'm not about to be in a position of breaching the undertakings we've given to ASIO.

TONY EASTLEY: Kevin Rudd there. Our Chief Political Correspondent Catherine McGrath is still on the line.

Catherine, what, if anything, is the Israeli Government or Embassy saying about this?

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Well Tony it won't surprise you to learn they're not saying anything either.

I spoke this morning to the Deputy Head of Mission Ms Orna. She said that the embassy has no official comment on this, that Mr Amir Laty is back in Israel, as we know, and they won't talk about the reasons for his expulsion. But she was at pains to point out that bilateral relations between Australia and Israel are strong and that this situation hasn't impacted upon that at all.

But they're dealing, of course, with two scandals, the Israelis, because it's now been revealed also that Amir Laty's replacement, a Mr Arye Scher has been linked to a child sex scandal in Brazil when he was posted there in the year 2000. He was cleared of wrongdoing but sanctioned in Israel, and there's moves by the Jewish community here to stop him coming to Australia.

TONY EASTLEY: Our Chief Political Correspondent Catherine McGrath.


But they're dealing, of course, with two scandals, the Israelis, because it's now been revealed also that Amir Laty's replacement, a Mr Arye Scher has been linked to a child sex scandal in Brazil when he was posted there in the year 2000. He was cleared of wrongdoing but sanctioned in Israel, and there's moves by the Jewish community here to stop him coming to Australia.
We have enough home grown peadophiles thanx without specialists moving in. Thats one less. Shame he did'nt get caught here. We could have set our Australian Special Operations Group onto him --------->Link

truebeliever 10-08-2006 03:06 AM

Re: Israeli Diplomat Expelled From Australia For Spying.

Ruddock denies [Israeli] diplomat's expulsion linked to daughter

Federal Attorney General Philip Ruddock says any relationship his daughter had with an Israeli diplomat is not relevant to the man's expulsion from Australia.

A report in this week's Australian Jewish News says the former diplomat, Amir Laty, told Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem that he had been in "close contact" with Caitlin Ruddock.

The report also says that Amir Laty believes his friendship with 26-year-old Ms Ruddock may have been linked to the Australian Government ordering him to leave the country.

Mr Laty's expulsion has not been explained by the Federal Government.

The report said Mr Laty had been invited to Christmas lunch at the Ruddock's Sydney home, but the invitation was subsequently cancelled.

RuddockMr Ruddock has told Southern Cross radio the Government will not comment on the expulsion.

"I don't believe that is appropriate to look at whether or not my daughter had had relationships with anybody," he said.

"Certainly any acquaintance she may or may not have had with this particular gentleman was totally irrelevant to his departure from Australia."

Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd says he has been briefed by ASIO but cannot discuss the matter.

"These are sensitive matters and the Opposition is privileged to obtain national security briefings from ASIO," he said.

"I'm not to be in a position of breaching the undertakings we've given to ASIO."

Mr Laty, who was posted to Canberra for 18 months, went to New Zealand last year to visit two Israelis who were jailed there on charges of fraudulently obtaining passports.

The two, who were expelled from New Zealand for allegedly being agents of Israel's spy agency Mossad, also spent time in Australia.

Meanwhile, the Australian Jewish News also reports that Australian Jewish leaders have opposed the Israel's Foreign Ministry replacement for Amir Laty.

They rejected Aryeh Scher's appointment because of alleged involvement in a child-sex scandal in Brazil five years ago.

The website reports that the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom this week agreed to review the appointment.

Mr Scher, a former Israeli vice-consul at the Israeli Embassy in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, was reportedly cleared by an Israeli government committee of any criminal behaviour but was censured for "inappropriate behaviour" and barred from going abroad for five years.

truebeliever 10-08-2006 03:19 AM

Re: Israeli Diplomat Expelled From Australia For Spying.

Claims Israel uses Australia as spy base
February 18, 2005 - 6:44PM

Israel uses Australia as a base to monitor the activities of potential enemies in the region, according to an American security expert.

The Israeli diplomat expelled from Australia in December, and now linked to Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's daughter, was likely involved in intelligence gathering towards that end, said Paul Buchanan, who has worked for the US military and defence department.

Canberra-based diplomat Amir Lati's visits to two alleged Israeli spies in custody in New Zealand last year, before his expulsion from Australia, suggested he was a "handler" of the pair, said the New Zealand-based academic.

The most credible suspicion about Lati was that he was engaged in official covert intelligence gathering, Buchanan said, where a diplomat conducts spying operations under the guise of his official role.

He said Israeli diplomats and local supporters involved in such espionage in Australia were part of a campaign to gather intelligence on anti-Israel activity in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

"Australia and New Zealand are the first line of defence against an Islamist movement that operates in the Pacific Rim," said Buchanan, a senior lecturer in political studies at the University of Auckland.

"They spend most of their time looking at Indonesia and Malaysia and now the smaller Pacific island countries."

In his diplomatic capacity, Lati last year visited Israelis Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara in an Auckland jail.

Prime Minister Helen Clark accused the pair of spying.

Convicted last year of passport fraud, they were later deported from NZ.

Cara had been based in Australia as a travel agent and crossed the Tasman many times.

On Friday Clark's office said there were diplomatic moves afoot between New Zealand and Israel to resolve the issue, which has damaged relations between the two nations.

Buchanan said Clark had been foolish to confront Israel over the matter as the Jewish state would be less likely to share crucial intelligence with New Zealand.

Australia had taken the right approach to quietly expel Lati without explanation, he said.

"You do not want to jeopardise that relationship over a small diplomatic incident - the New Zealanders have."


Buchanan said Clark had been foolish to confront Israel over the matter as the Jewish state would be less likely to share crucial intelligence with New Zealand.
Seeing as New Zealand has ZERO enemies except Lord Sauron after N.Z protected Frodo Baggins...we must ponder just WHAT intelligence Israel could possibly have that would be of interest to New Zealand?

Lets see...N.Z refuses to join invasion of Iraq. Expels Israeli spy's, speaks out loudly regarding Israeli aggression in the M.E...again, i'm curious. Just WHAT info could Israel possibly have for N.Z? Thats code for "be careful coz if you embarrass us again we will send a team of Mossad over to blow something up"...and blame it on Muslims.

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