Friday, February 18, 2005

Ruddock linked to Israeli diplomat's expulsion

An Israeli diplomat who was expelled from Australia in December has reportedly claimed that his friendship with a daughter of the Federal Attorney General, Philip Ruddock, may have been connected to his departure.

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 newspaper says an invitation for Christmas lunch at the Ruddock's Sydney home was subsequently cancelled after the Australian Government ordered the diplomat's expulsion.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told the newspaper Mr Laty "did nothing wrong".

Mr Ruddock says any acquaintance the Israeli had with his family is "totally irrelevant" to the diplomat's expulsion.

The Federal Opposition has declined to comment on the report.

Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd says he has been briefed by ASIO but is reluctant to 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."

By Spy Vs Spy 18 February 05


Raid triggers call for immigration dept probe
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