Israel: Stop photos of Hamas suspects

Officials wanted Al Mabhouh suspect pictures kept back, citing "humanitarian reasons", the chief of Dubai Police reveals.

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DUBAI // Israeli officials requested that the release of photos of suspects in the killing of the Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh be stopped, authorities revealed yesterday.

Israel made the request in the later stages of releasing the identities of the murder suspects, said Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai police chief, speaking on the sidelines of the Dubai Juvenile Association annual concluding ceremony. Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks this week suggested UAE officials were debating whether to reveal details of the assassination or keep them quiet.

"It was brought to our attention, through a body, that Israel wished to stop the releasing of the suspects' pictures and they were citing humanitarian reasons for their concerns," Lt Gen Tamim said. "Israeli officials reportedly said it would not be fair to the family of the suspects." He did not disclose which body conveyed the message.

Police had released the pictures of the suspects in two consecutive batches and later continued to add to the list until it reached more than 30 suspects. Lt Gen Tamim said that keeping quiet about al Mabhouh was never an option for him.

"I was also convinced that Sheikh Mohammed would not have agreed to hide the truth," he said. "That is not because we ever had a discussion on the matter but because he is a transparent man."

Lt Gen Tamim also confirmed that there was not a single body or country that expressed a desire to keep the details of the investigation in the dark.