Israel, Poland mum on ‘Mossad arrest'

Emirate's police chief asks that Israeli be punished in Germany.

June 14, 2010 05:19
3 minute read.
JEWISH AGENCY emissary Naomi Freedman (standing at

Suspected Mossad agent. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Both Israeli and Polish officials continued to shroud the arrest in Warsaw earlier this month of an Israeli who allegedly forged one of the passports used by the team that purportedly killed Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, amid reports that it is just a matter of time before the man will be extradited to Germany.

“We are not confirming any information,” a spokesman at the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv said of the arrest some 10 days ago of the alleged Mossad agent who goes by the name of Uri Brodsky. “We are not commenting.”

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The spokesman refused to comment not only on the arrest of Brodsky, but also on whether Israel has asked Poland not to extradite him to Germany, or whether the incident has caused tension between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

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Germany has reportedly asked for Brodsky’s extradition because he was allegedly involved in providing false information to obtain a German passport in Cologne for a man by the name of Michael Bodenheimer that was apparently used by the squad that killed Mabhouh.

In Germany, meanwhile, a spokesman for the German federal prosecutor told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the prosecutor’s office “does not know” if Israel “intervened” with Poland regarding the extradition of the alleged spy. The spokesman said he read the news item about the Israeli government contacting Polish officials in the Der Spiegel report that broke the story.

When asked what the legal timeline was in connection with the extradition process, the German spokesman said that depended on “many different factors.” He declined to give a time frame and said the legal options available to the suspect conform to EU guidelines.

The UAE newspaper The National quoted on Sunday Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai Police chief, as saying Dubai would not seek the suspect’s extradition from Germany.

“This person has committed the crime in Germany and therefore it is only normal that he will be prosecuted there,” he was quoted as saying. “For us, what is important [is] that he will receive his punishment irrespective of which country.”

He added, however, that if Brodsky was involved in the assassination in Dubai, then his extradition would be sought.

“The fact that German investigators could develop their own investigations is a clear indication of the strength of the information provided by us and that the pictures and other data collected are accurate,” Tamim was quoted as saying.

The arrest of Brodsky is the latest fallout from the assassination of Mabhouh, for which Israel has never admitted responsibility. Last month Australia expelled an Israeli diplomat over the passport forgery issue, and Britain did the same in March.

Twelve British, eight Irish, four Australian, two French and a German passport were allegedly used by the hit squad that killed Mabhouh.

Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov told reporters before Sunday’s cabinet meeting that he did not think the episode would spur a crisis with either Poland or Germany.

“Poland is a big friend of Israel, as is Germany, and it needs to tell Germany that it will extradite him to Israel; and if there is a complaint against him, we have a legal system that is well respected in the world,” Meseznikov said.

Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report from Berlin.

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