Friday, February 11, 2005

Live hard, spy hard 

A few days ago, the Australian authorities have asked an Israeli diplomat Amir Lati to leave the country. Initial speculation revolved around a possible link with the expulsion of two other Israeli diplomats from New Zealand last year, but this does not seem to be the case.

Lati held a post of charge d'affaires, which coincidently might have actually led to his expulsion, since as John Kerin
reports, "Lati had a relationship with a woman who worked for Australia's Defence Department."

Kerin does some hilarious investigative reporting about Lati's life in Australia's capital:

"He was known to drink at the B-Bar in Kennedy Street, though not heavily, and regularly went with embassy staff for a pizza at La Capanna, a haunt that is also popular with politicians.

If he were a spy, he certainly did not stand out from the crowd, though some have described him as an extrovert."
Where on earth did Kerin get the idea that a "real" spy has to be an alcoholic reveler, a Guy Burgess-meets-Austin Powers? Oh, never mind...

"Staff at Kingston's local bars and restaurants were generally surprised to find a spy may have been in their midst."
Who can blame them? After all he didn't drink heavily and didn't stand out from the crowd. Oh, and he didn't have horn-rimmed glasses and buck teeth. Although now that you mention it, he did have a rather irritating habit of replying to everything with "Groovy, baby."

"One staffer at La Capanna said she recalled meeting Mr Lati and commented on the name on his credit card because of its resemblance to latte."
Just wait for La Capanna to cash in on this minor bit of infamy: today's special, $5 Lati latte and a cake.


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