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Posted Sunday, May 30, 2004

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Sunday Star Times NZ

New Zeaand, Sunday, May 30, 2004


Israeli suspects watched 24/7

By Rachel Grunwell

THE government is behind the expensive surveillance of two men suspected of having links to the Israeli secret service.

Detectives mounted a surveillance operation after receiving information from Internal Affairs and, on March 23, two men - Urie Zoshe Kelman, 30, left, and Eli Cara, 50 - were arrested after trying to pick up a package.

They are before the Auckland High Court on three joint charges, including participating in an organised crime group to obtain a false passport, which they have denied.

On Wednesday [June 2, 2004], a date will be set for their trial.

The pair has been on bail in Auckland for two months, despite police opposing bail because of the risk they will leave New Zealand.

Kelman and Cara made national headlines for allegedly having links to Israel's foremost intelligence agency, Mossad, and Trade Negotiation Minister Jim Sutton has said previously it appeared the duo were representatives of the Israeli government.

But police are still watching the pair. A police source said 50 officers were involved in "politically motivated surveillance" of the two men, who are staying in two hotels.

Police believe a third man involved, Zev William Barkan, may have already fled the country.

Another source said the government required security services, including police, to monitor the pair as standard procedure.

The police source questioned why the pair were not on remand if they were such a risk, saying that would cost the country only a fraction of what was being spent to keep an eye on them.

It is understood police have come from several districts as part of "Operation Cloak" and have been warned not to leak their work to the media because it is a political issue.

"The prime minister wants them watched 24/7," said the source, adding the inquiry had more staff than most homicide investigations.

The Sunday Star-Times understands police have rented the room next to Cara's hotel room, which costs a minimum $209 per day according to the hotel's website.

If the room has been rented since the men were arrested it would have cost about $14,421, unless a special rate was negotiated.

If 50 police have been working on the operation since March 23, it would have cost taxpayers an average of about $135 daily per officer and almost $472,650 in total in wages. These figures would not include expenses and equipment.

The figure is far more than the cost of keeping the pair in custody. If they had been in remand since their arrest, it would have cost taxpayers $18,768.

Kelman's lawyer Grant Illingworth QC said he thought the surveillance had stopped but did not have a problem with police still watching his client. "Police wouldn't be doing their job if they weren't making sure they complied with the terms of their bail".

He said the fact two judges had granted the men bail "shows it is appropriate". His client was abiding by his bail conditions and had no intention of breaking them. Cara's lawyer Stuart Grieve QC would not comment.

The Star-Times approached Cara (right) on Friday and asked what he thought of the surveillance -- he shrugged his shoulders and said he did not want to comment.

He appeared to be aware a female detective had just followed him on an afternoon walk.

Police headquarters spokesman Jon Neilson said he could not answer any questions about the cost of the operation or numbers involved because "it's a security issue and that's it".

The head of the operation, Detective Inspector Bruce Good, mirrored comments given yesterday by a spokesman for the prime minister that they could not comment on police operational matters.

"Surveillance is a no-go area," said Good, who then requested the paper not identify any of his staff.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said the resources being used were "ludicrous".

The men should be deported or kept in custody until their trial and the government was to blame for the situation, he said.

"We have people calling from Auckland who have been burgled, saying they're waiting three to five days for a response.

"We're just tying up our police resources," said McVicar, who hit out at the judges for releasing the men on bail. "The police are doing their homework and it is being ignored."


Mossad sends hostile New Zealand message via Asian-based organisations after arrest of two agents
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
Two men believed by senior NZ Government figures to be Mossad agents arrested in Auckland trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport
Ottawa investigating: Mossad has history of using counterfeit Canadian documents
2002: Fury at Mossad's continued use of Canadian Passports in Murder Operation
Sept 6, 1999: Probe of Mossad's use of Canadian ID halted
1998: Israeli secret service still using Canadian passports
Ottawa investigating: Mossad has history of using counterfeit Canadian documents


  Links to Video clips on the story ...

NZ Passport System Under Threat 17/04/2004 08:10 PM The NZ passport system is under threat after two Israeli's were arrested for trying to obtain a false NZ passport.
NZ Passport System Under Threat The NZ passport system is under threat after two Israeli's were arrested for trying to obtain a false NZ passport.
NZ News

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