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Posted Friday, July 2, 2004

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Friday, July 2, 2004

2 Israelis admit to unlawfully trying to obtain NZ passport

By Yossi Melman,
Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

TWO Israeli men admitted in a New Zealand court Friday to trying to unlawfully acquire a New Zealand passport, Australian media reported.

Uriel Zosha Kelman, 30, and Elisha Cara, 50, pleaded guilty in the Auckland High Court to one charge of participating in an organized crime group by attempting to unlawfully obtain a New Zealand passport, according to Australian Associated Press. They had denied committing criminal offenses after their arrest about four months ago.

Justice Judith Potter convicted the pair and remanded them in custody for sentencing on July 15. A third man, Zev William Barkan, and "persons unknown" -- who have not been located -- were also allegedly involved in trying to obtain a passport in the name of a wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy sufferer, the agency said.

In April, the New Zealand Herald reported that senior government officials believed that Kelman and Cara, who claimed to be a Sydney-based travel agent, were actually Mossad agents.

The indictment's reference to an organized crime group relates to the number of people involved, and not the reported links to Israel's spy agency, according to AAP.

Kelman's attorney, Grant Illingworth, has previously argued that media reports that the Israelis are Mossad agents constitute "a violation of the principle of sub judice, and have undermined the chances for a proper and fair trial."

The attorney said at the end of April that Kelman and Cara were not under suspicion for espionage-related offenses. "They are suspected of regular criminal offenses, which they deny; and despite this, and contrary to the law and the norm, a number of newspapers, and the New Zealand Herald in particular, have published irresponsible reports about them supposedly being Mossad spies," Illingworth said.


Suspicions about Cara were originally triggered by a passport officer who thought his accent did not match the Anglo-Saxon name on the application. It turned out the name was that of a wheelchair bound New Zealander suffering from cerebral palsy.


Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, July 2, 2004

Israelis admit passport fraud

URIE Kelman, 31, and Eli Cara, 40, admitted a charge of participating in an organised criminal group to obtain a New Zealand passport.

Both men are believed to have links with the Israeli Secret Service - Mossad .

When the two men were arrested in April, the Acting Foreign Affairs Minister called in the Israeli government representative in Canberra for a please explain.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said a strong and public response would be made once the case was over.

But Clark's office said there will be no official comment until after sentencing.

The guilty plea shocked the court as the media gathered for what was expected to be a simple court appearance.

Suspicions about Cara were originally triggered by a passport officer who thought his accent did not match with the Anglo-Saxon name on the application.

It turned out, the name was that of a wheelchair bound New Zealander suffering from cerebral palsy.

Police say the case highlights the measures already in place to protect the integrity of the New Zealand passport.

Authorities hope the case serves as a warning to others contemplating the use of a false New Zealand passport.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to seven years behind bars. The Israelis will be sentenced in a fortnight.

There have been previous diplomatic incidents between Israel and other countries involving false passports.

Israeli intelligence and counter-terrorism agency Mossad prompted a diplomatic row with Canada over its use of fake Canadian passports in operations in the 1990s.


Mossad sending hostile New Zealand Message Via Asian-Based organisations after arrest of two agents
May 19, 2004: BBC reports that Lebanon smashes Mossad assassination ring
May 13, 2004: The 1979 Mossad Assassination attempt on Ambassador John Dean: Dean papers with full taste of Mossad's evil opened at Jimmy Carter's Presidential Library
May 9, 2004: Israelis with fake docs arrested in Tennessee, 'how to fly' leaflet found; were seen to toss something else out of Ryder truck, FBI called in
May 1, 2004: Crown Prince Abdullah says Zionists behind Terror attacks in Saudi Arabia
A history of Mossad's overseas bungling
Apr 29 - May .. 2004: Secrecy surrounds two Mossad agents when they reappear in Auckland court on NZ passport forgery charges | Police fear al Qaeda terrorists using NZ passports following arrest of 2 men in Thailand and seizure of fake NZ passports | The two Mossad agents charged with NZ passport offences photographed in Auckland reporting to police as part of bail conditions | Two men believed by senior Government figures to be Israeli secret service agents have been arrested in Auckland trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport | One Mossad agent entered NZ on a fake Canadian passport

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