Poland extradites alleged Mossad agent to Germany on forgery charges
Polish authorities yesterday extradited a suspected Mossad agent known as Uri Brodsky to Germany, where he is expected to face charges of forgery, according to a spokesman for the Polish police.
Brodsky allegedly was one of a team of Mossad agents involved in the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.
The man, an Israeli citizen, was handed over to German police at Warsaw's international airport, police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said. The extradition was carried out yesterday afternoon after a Polish court of appeals rejected Brodsky's attempts to block his handing over to Germany.
Polish judges stressed that they did not focus in any way on the guilt or innocence of Brodsky, and their only role was to determine the legality of an international warrant for his arrest issued by Germany.
In the court's decision, the judges wrote that espionage in the territory of another country for a third country is not considered a violation of Polish law, and therefore the court is not considering that aspect of the German extradition request. As such, Brodsky cannot be charged with espionage, only of forgery of official documents - in this case, a German passport allegedly used by Mabhouh's assassins.
The German prosecution announced that because the Polish court ruled Brodsky will not be extradited to Germany on suspicion of espionage, but only of forging documents, he will only be tried for that.
Wire photographs showed a man pulling a jacket over his face as he was escorted by anti-terrorist agents. Brodsky has appeared in court in Warsaw on various occasions since his arrest with his face covered. A German official said Brodsky was to arrive in a police helicopter at Cologne Bonn Airport in the afternoon.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Sokolowski said that Brodsky was being represented by two German and one Tel Aviv-based attorney. German prosecutors accuse him of illegally helping to procure a passport used in connection with the January 19 slaying of Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai.
Brodsky is expected to appear this morning before a judge, who will decide at a closed-doors hearing whether the suspect remain in custody pending the filing of formal charges and a possible trial.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Cologne, said Wednesday that Brodsky will probably be fined and not jailed, and that it is even possible his prison time in Poland could be taken into account to minimize size of the fine.
Brodsky was arrested on June 4 at Warsaw Airport on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany, which accused him of espionage and helping to illegally obtain a German passport.
Israel's suspected forgery of European passports allegedly used by hit squad members who took part in the killing of the Hamas leader in Dubai annoyed several European countries, including Britain, which expelled an Israeli diplomat over the matter in March. Australia also expelled an Israeli diplomat alleged to be the Mossad station chief in Canberra, as Israeli agents are suspected of forging an Australian passport used in the operation.
German media reported that Brodsky used the name Alexander Verin when he assisted a second alleged Mossad agent at a Cologne passport agency, who represented himself as Michael Bodenheimer, the son of a German Jew named Hans Bodenheimer.