Uri Brodsky - AFP - July 7, 2010
Alleged Mossad agent known as Uri Brodsky, center, being escorted by armed Polish anti-terrorist police officers to court in Warsaw, July 7, 2010. Photo by AFP
Text size

A Warsaw appeals court upheld Thursday the extradition of alleged Mossad agent Uri Brodsky to Germany, where he is suspected of helping attackers in the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai.

The appeals court upheld last month's ruling that Brodsky, an Israeli citizen, should be extradited to Germany on forgery charges but not for espionage. The district court last month said spying against Germany is not a punishable crime in Poland.

The ruling means Brodsky can be tried in Germany for forgery but not for espionage.

Germany applied for the suspect's extradition after he was arrested on June 4 in Warsaw's airport on a European arrest warrant charging him with espionage and helping to falsely obtain a German passport, which was allegedly used in connection with the Jan. 19 slaying of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai.

Brodsky is suspected in Germany of acting as an agent for a foreign intelligence service and helping to forge a German passport used by one of the attackers in the Mabhouh assassination.

Brodsky walked into the courtroom in Warsaw hiding his face in his hands with a hood pulled over his head.

Prosecutors have said they were not taking politics into consideration but were acting in accordance with procedures.

Brodsky's lawyer, Krzysztof Stepinski, has said he appealed the earlier court decision because extradition is not allowed under Polish law when the alleged offenses have a political motive.

Warsaw prosecutors also appealed, saying they wanted the court to consider extradition on all the charges brought against Brodsky.

Israel has spoken out against the extradition, saying the suspect should be dealt with by the Israeli justice system.

Israel's request that Poland not extradite Brodsky put Warsaw in the delicate position of choosing between two close allies, Germany and Israel.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said he hoped the matter would not harm Polish-Israeli relations, but added that European law left the court with little choice but to extradite Brodsky.

Along with other Western countries, Germany was angry that its passports were used by members of a suspected Mossad hit team that is believed to have murdered Mabhouh, a co-founder of Hamas' military wing

Police in the United Arab Emirates said the elaborate hit squad linked to the assassination of Mabhouh involved some 25 suspects, most of them carrying fake passports from European nations and Australia.