COPENHAGEN (Aug. 2)
The Norwegian government will convene a special session tomorrow morning in Oslo to examine its overall relations with Israel as a result of the “Boushicki affair.” The government is due to hear reports from the ministers of the interior, justice and foreign affairs. Diplomatic observers believe the government will be asked to formally approve the expulsion from Norway of the Israeli Embassy official Yigal Eyal. Yesterday the Norwegian authorities declared Eyal persona non grata and requested that Israel recall him.
The government session had been scheduled for this afternoon but was postponed at the last minute. No official reason was given. A government spokesman said this afternoon that Norway’s Foreign Minister is expected to make an official announcement after tomorrow’s session. Israeli sources in Oslo told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that they did not believe Norway will expel Eyal and branded such reports as “nothing but rumors.”
Meanwhile. Norwegian authorities yesterday charged the six suspects apprehended in connection with the murder on July 21 of Ahmed Bou-shicki, a Moroccan, in the resort town of Lille-hammer, with “espionage and intelligence work damaging to Norwegian interests.” The six. described by authorities as Israeli agents, were earlier charged with murder.
Svein Hoevde. Lillehammer’s police chief said that the new charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The earlier charge of murder, or participation or complicity in carrying out a murder, carries a possible life sentence. Two of the six suspects are Israelis who were apprehended last Thursday in the home of Eyal. The Israeli diplomat is the Embassy’s security officer. He is claiming that since he is covered by diplomatic immunity, his home is too.
WARRANTS ISSUED FOR 11 MORE SUSPECTS
Hoevde said that the new charge was based on the fact that the suspects had “secretly and illegally gathered or tried to gather information in favor of a foreign power while being aware that these activities were detrimental to the interests of Norway and jeopardized the lives, health, freedom and property of individual residents.”
Observers in Oslo quoted by Norwegian newspapers are reporting that the new charge seems to indicate the government believes that the Israeli government was aware of the Boushickl murder. (Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem said last Thursday they knew nothing about the identity of the suspects or the shooting.)
The Norwegian press, without quoting any sources, noted today that the six suspects were arrested as a result of the cooperation between police and one of the suspects, a Swedish woman. The unnamed woman reportedly told police that II other persons were involved in one way or an other in the killing. According to the Oslo newspaper, Aftenposten, police have issued warrants for the arrest of the 11. The warrants were issued through Interpol. (In Paris, an Interpol spokesman refused to confirm or deny this report when questioned by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.)
The newspaper also reported that several days before Boushicki was shot he had been contacted by an Arab the suspects believed was the contact man in Norway of the Black September movement. According to Norway’s Public Prosecutor Haakon Wiker. the suspects assumed that the contact had gotten in touch with Boushicki to plan an attack against the Israeli Embassy in Oslo and decided to kill the Moroccan. One Norwegian newspaper reported that the Black September agent contacted Boushicki by mistake and that, consequently, his murderers, too, mistook him for someone else.
Several commentators have expressed the view that if the two Israelis were actually involved in participating in the murder. Norwegian authorities should be aware of the fact that it was not the Israelis who brought terror and counter-terror warfare to Europe.