Taoiseach link to address used by Dubai killer

Dublin house owned by brother of former Irish PM Albert Reynolds
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The Independent Online

A revealing glimpse of how one of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's assassins operated on his brief but lethal trip to Dubai was afforded yesterday by the the hotel bill he ran up before the killing of the Hamas commander.

A member of the hit squad checked into the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel using as his false address a house in the Ballsbridge area of Dublin which belongs to the brother of the former Irish Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds.

The house at 6 Elgin Road, which James Reynolds has reportedly owned since the 1960s, is not far from the Ukrainian, US and Israeli embassies. It has been empty for 10 years, suggesting its eligibility as a false address may have been researched in advance.

It also emerged yesterday that the United Arab Emirates had passed details of two more British and two more Irish passports used in the assassination last month to the authorities in London and Dublin, bringing the total number of suspects so far identified as European passport-holders to 15. The hotel invoice made out in the name of Kevin Daveron, one of the fake Irish passport-holders whose photograph has been circulated by Interpol, shows that the man paid a bill of 3,578 dirhams (£630) in cash when he checked out on 19 January, the day before the Hamas militant's body was found in own room at the al-Bustan Rotana Hotel.

The invoice was acquired by The Irish Times which said that that "Mr Daveron" checked in on 18 January. It shows that he ate breakfast in the hotel lobby and consumed non-alcoholic beverages from the mini-bar in his room during his stay.

The agent, who the paper says paid for two nights' accommodation, arrived on an Air France flight from Paris with a woman travelling under the name of Gail Folliard, also using a fake Irish passport, according to information released by Dubai police last week. The police said he donned a wig and glasses before going to work, apparently as a look-out.

The newspaper quoted James Reynolds's son John, who is a music promoter and organiser of the Electric Picnic annual music festival in Ireland, as saying the family was "absolutely shocked and horrified" at the use of the property by one of the alleged hit squad without their knowledge.

Dubai police says it is "99 per cent sure" that the operation was carried out by Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency. Western intelligence sources believe that Mr Mabhouh was lured there with the promise of an Iranian arms deal for Hamas.

But Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Foreign Minister, on a visit to Brussels on Monday stressed again that there was no proof his country was involved. When a reporter asked him about an Israeli role, he was told he had been "watching too many James Bond movies".

A Der Spiegel report on Michael Bodenheimer, the name on a German passport said by Dubai to have been used in the operation, said that a man using that name had successfully applied for a German passport in Cologne last summer, saying he was an Israeli now living in the city.

According to the report, the address he gave as his last in Israel turned out to be in an office block in Herzliya, where the name Michael Budenheimer (the same Hebrew letter is used for both u and o) was still listed when Der Spiegel's correspondent went there. Two days later it was no longer there.

The report said that to acquire a German passport the man provided proof that his parents had been German citizens who had fled to escape the Nazis. But the Cologne address he gave, it added, was a multi-occupied building with a high turnover of tenants in a poor district of Cologne, and where there was no sign of his having lived.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has declined to release further information about the two additional users of British passports said by Dubai to have taken part in the operation, or whether the passports used the names of unwitting British-Israeli dual nationals as the other six did.