View of Montevideo, Uruguay .
(photo credit: ISRAELI EMBASSY IN MONTEVIDEO)
The Foreign Ministry denied on Sunday reports from Uruguay that the Latin American nation was investigating an Israeli embassy employee on suspicion of involvement in a fake bomb planting incident, adding that "these reports are incorrect and completely denied."
The ministry added that "in recent months a number of security related events have occurred near the Israeli embassy in Uruguay, which require careful review and significant security attention. However, the reported investigation is not true at all."
According to Uruguayan media, local police named an Israeli embassy security worker as the main suspect in planting a fake bomb on June 17
outside the Montevideo World Trade Center building which houses the Israeli Embassy.
According to a report in local newspaper El Observador
, the suspect has been an Israeli embassy security worker for the past eight years and also has performed similar security work for a number of local Jewish groups.
Judge Nestor Valetti told the paper that "After viewing the security footage, intelligence officials came to the conclusion that this person was suspicious." Still, both Valetti and the case's prosecutor could not give a definitive ruling.
The suspect has since been released from custody due to insufficient evidence and his computer is now being searched.
The device was found by police inside of a sardine can that contained wires, a battery and a switch, though the device did not contain explosive material.
A similar device was discovered by police last November some 70 meters from the building. On that occasion, the embassy was evacuated as a matter of caution, and no injuries were reported. In December, a senior Iranian diplomat was forced to leave Uruguay after he was suspected of involvement in the incident.
Police officials said after that incident that the device was apparently planted in order to “measure” police response times.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.