Berlin to play suspected Israeli agent case by book: report

19th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's government will not interfere in the case of a suspected Israeli agent thought to have played a role in the Dubai assassination of a Hamas commander, German media reported Saturday.

Ministers have agreed that the case involving the suspected agent arrested in Warsaw at Germany's request will be handled "strictly according to legal criteria," news magazine Der Spiegel reports in its June 21 edition.

"The article (in Der Speigel) is based on a meeting of the secret services at the Chancellery. Because this was a private meeting, we will not comment," a German government spokesman told AFP, referring the matter to the courts.

The man arrested on June 4 at Warsaw airport, identified as Uri Brodsky, was an alleged Mossad agent suspected of involvement in illegally obtaining a German passport in connection with the assassination of a member of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Dubai.

The chief prosecutor in Warsaw announced Monday that he would seek the detainee's extradition to Germany, which Israel opposes.

Israel has denied the allegations surrounding the detainee, and two Israeli ministers have sought his return to Israel.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk described the affair as "delicate", and hoped it would not damage relations between Israel and Germany.

Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Israel's minister for commerce and industry, told Der Spiegel: "What we must do is defend against a transfer to Germany".

But if there was a trial, the minister said, "that would not damage the good relations between our countries".

The detainee is suspected of having participated in the establishment of the commando unit that assassinated Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of the armed wing of the Hamas movement, who was found dead in a hotel room in Dubai on January 20, Der Spiegel reported.

Police in Dubai blamed Israel for the murder, which has been widely accepted in the Israeli media. The government said there was no evidence of Mossad involvement.

© 2010 AFP

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