Suspect used Dublin 4 address


A vacant property in Dublin's Ballsbridge, owned by a brother of former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, was given as a home address by one of five fake Irish passport-carrying members of the team allegedly responsible for assassinating a Hamas official in Dubai.

The Irish Times has obtained a copy of an invoice issued by the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel to a man travelling under the name of Kevin Daveron, who was last week named by Dubai police as one of up to 18 suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al Mabhouh last month.

The invoice – which notes Mr Daveron’s departure time as 1.40pm on January 19th, the day Mr Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel room – gives his address as 6 Elgin Road in Ballsbridge.

The property at that address has been owned by James Reynolds, father of music promoter and Electric Picnic organiser John Reynolds, since the 1960s. The three-storey red brick property, which at one stage was divided into flats, has been vacant for about 10 years. Located in the Ballsbridge embassy belt, the building is close to several diplomatic missions including those of the Ukraine, the US and Israel.

Last night John Reynolds, speaking on behalf of his father, told The Irish Times the family was “absolutely shocked and horrified” that the property had been used as an address by one of the alleged hit squad without their knowledge.

The Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel yesterday confirmed that the details on the invoice obtained by The Irish Times correspond with those in the hotel’s records.

The invoice notes Mr Daveron’s arrival on January 18th and details costs incurred for two nights accommodation, breakfast ordered in the hotel lobby, and non-alcoholic beverages consumed from the mini-bar. The total bill came to 3,578 dirhams (€715) and was paid in cash.

According to information released by Dubai police last week, Mr Daveron arrived in Dubai from Paris on an Air France flight with a woman travelling under the name of Gail Folliard. She was also carrying a fake Irish passport. Police believe the pair comprised one of two surveillance teams sent in advance to gather intelligence on Mr Mabhouh. After checking out of his hotel, Mr Daveron donned a wig and glasses before arriving at the hotel where the Hamas official was planning to stay.

He and Ms Folliard are alleged to have acted as look-outs while the assassins acted. The two are believed to have flown back to Paris that night.

The link to the Ballsbridge property is the latest twist in what has become a major international intrigue. The alleged assassins also used six passports from Britain, and one each from France and Germany, according to Dubai police.

One line of inquiry centres on claims that credit cards issued in the US were used to book plane tickets for the operation.

Another hinges on allegations the team used Austrian SIM cards. Dubai’s police chief has said he is “99 per cent” certain that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad was behind the murder. Israel has so far refused to confirm or deny involvement in the assassination.

European foreign ministers yesterday condemned the fraudulent use of Irish and other EU passports as Israel’s foreign minister claimed no knowledge of the affair in a series of meetings with his EU counterparts including Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin.

An EU statement, urging all countries to co-operate with the Dubai investigation, made no reference to Israel. During his meeting with Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, Mr Martin criticised the “abuse” of Irish passports.

The five fake Irish passports apparently used in the operation contained numbers that correspond with those of legitimate Irish passports, putting the holders of the genuine documentation at risk. Mr Martin said his Israeli counterpart had “no information whatsoever” about the situation. He added that he insisted the Government wanted assurances that Israeli agents were not involved.