Alleged Mossad agent fights extradition to Germany
Uri Brodsky, suspected of involvement in Hamas chief killing in Dubai, appeals Polish court decision that he be extradited to Germany.
Uri Brodsky, an alleged Mossad agent under arrest in Poland, on Monday appealed a Polish court's decision to extradite him to Germany.
Brodsky is wanted in Germany for allegedly spying and helping to falsely obtain a German passport allegedly used in connection with the assassination of the Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Manhouh in a Dubai hotel in January.
He was arrested on a European warrant in June at Warsaw's international airport, and on July 7 was ordered extradited to Germany by Warsaw's district court. The judge ordered his extradition on the forgery charges only, however, meaning that under that decision he could also only be tried in Germany on forgery and not spying.
That decision would have spared Israel a potentially embarrassing high-profile espionage trial. Now the outcome of the case remains unclear because both Brodsky's lawyers and prosecutors - who want him extradited on the entirety of the charges - have appealed the court's July 7 ruling.
One of Brodsky's lawyers, Krzysztof Stepinski, said he filed an appeal Monday in a bid to have his client spared extradition to Germany and have him returned to Israel.
"I believe we will win. I strongly believe that he will be (sent) back to Israel," Stepinski told The Associated Press. He refused to divulge the argument that he was using in his fight against the extradition.
Warsaw prosecutors also appealed the decision last week, said Monika Lewandowska, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors. She said prosecutors disagree with the district court's decision to extradite Brodsky on only part of the charges brought against him by Germany.
Brodsky's case will be heard by the appeals court on August 5, Stepinski said.
After the slaying of the Hamas leader in January, suspicion immediately fell on Mossad, Israel's spy agency. Israel, however, has never commented on the killing and has refused comment on Brodsky. The Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner told the AP only that his embassy is offering its consular support to Brodsky.
In two court appearances in Warsaw to date, Brodsky concealed his appearance, pulling a hooded jacket around his face as much as possible and covering the rest with his hands. It's also not clear if Brodsky is his real name.
Police in the United Arab Emirates said the elaborate hit squad linked to the Jan. 19 slaying of al-Mabhouh - one of the founders of Hamas' military wing - involved some 25 suspects, most of them carrying fake passports from European nations and Australia.
Among the faked passports, according to Dubai police, was one issued by the German city of Cologne with Brodsky's alleged involvement. Der Spiegel, a German weekly magazine, says the passport was issued to a man named Michael Bodenheimer, the descendent of a German Jew living in Israel.