Mossad Fingered for 1990 Assassination of Armscor's G5 Howitzer Engineer
Gustav Thiel, Sapa
The Israeli foreign spy agency Mossad was behind the 1990 assassination in Brussels of a Canadian engineer who helped the South African apartheid military develop its G5 155mm howitzer artillery cannon, it was reported yesterday. Belgian police had known "for several weeks" that Mossad was involved in the shooting on March 22, 1990 of Gerald Bull, Canadian newspaper, La Derniere Heure said.
Bull, has also been implicated in Iraq's drive to build a "supergun".
Bull aided the South African government in the development of weapons in the war in Angola in the mid-70s, but his connection with the country ultimately led to him spending six months in prison in the US on charges of illegal arms dealing.
The bullet-riddled body of Bull, 62, was found in the entrance hall of his Brussels home just before the Canadian was about to furnish Iraq with a cannon capable of firing shells up to 1500km, the paper said.
Mossad was suspected at the time, along with the CIA and Iranian intelligence, but the Belgian police investigation failed to make any headway.
But investigators had recently been given information "originating from a former British possession in Central America"-possibly Belize-that pointed the finger at a Mossad marksman, La Derniere Heure quoted a prosecutor as saying.
The assassin had long been in possession of a jewel which Bull always wore but which was missing from the engineer's body, the newspaper said.
Bull's assassination coincided with the seizure of large metal tubes in several countries, including Britain, Greece and Italy, which were allegedly destined for the Iraqi supergun.
Bull helped Armscor develop the long-range 155mm howitzer artillery cannon which South Africa used extensively during its war in Angola, and also sold gun barrels and shells to the South African government.
According to his biographer, John Redford, Bull aided South Africa with the "implicit" approval of the CIA, but when Jimmy Carter was elected president of the US, relations between the two countries soured.
On the advice of Bull's lawyer, according to Redford, he pleaded guilty to charges of illegal arms dealings and spent six months in a US jail in 1980.
With acknowledgements to Gustav Thiel, Sapa and Cape Times.