BERLIN – A Warsaw regional court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of alleged Mossad agent Uri Brodsky to Germany, to face charges of illegally obtaining a German passport.
Brodsky will decide whether to appeal his extradition after the written ruling is issued by the court next week, defense attorney Anna Mika-Kopec said. But she said the ruling could be good for him because his potential sentence is less than he would face if he were tried and convicted of forgery and spying. Spying could carry up to an additional five years.
Another lawyer for Brodsky, Krzysztof Stepinski, said his client would decide whether to appeal after he receives a Hebrew translation of the court documents.
A spokesman for the federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, told The Jerusalem Post
on Wednesday that the Polish judicial extradition order had to be translated into German before he could comment, and the prosecutor’s office did not yet have a copy of the decision.
BBC reported that Judge Tomasz Talkiewicz from the Warsaw court said, “The court has decided to hand over Uri Brodsky to German authorities for judicial procedures there. The court did not decide whether Brodsky committed the crime for which he is under investigation. The court only checked whether the extradition request fulfills the formal requirements, and whether the suspect is correctly identified.” RELATED:Brodsky appears before extradition
courtPolish court to decide on BrodskyPoland: Israeli 'spy' faces extradition
Meanwhile, Brodsky’s attorney can submit new evidence in an effort to prevent the extradition, the German prosecutor’s spokesman told the Post.
The federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe alleged that Brodsky forged a German passport, which allowed a supposed hit man using the name of Michael Bodenheimer to travel to Dubai to kill Hamas commander and Iranian arms smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January.
Brodsky was detained in Poland last month on an arrest warrant issued by Germany.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who is a member of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said on Wednesday that the extradition is being “dealt with primarily as a matter of criminal law, and not according to foreign policy interests.” He notified the leaders of the opposition parties about the details of the extradition application.
The Brodsky affair has caused friction between Israel and two of its most important European partners. According to media reports in Germany, Israel has turned the diplomatic screws on Poland and Germany to prevent the extradition of Brodsky to Germany.
Officials in Warsaw refused to comment on the political dimension of Wednesday’s ruling, though it appears to be something of a compromise – Poland will extradite him to Germany but has ensured that he will face lesser charges.
Israel is concerned that the extradition could torpedo its request to receive missile ships from Berlin. Officials had expected to hear from Germany in June whether it would sell Israel two new Meko-class missile ships.Jerusalem Post staff, AP and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.