Israel ministers want Poland 'agent' sent home

13th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

An Israeli man arrested in Poland who is believed to be a Mossad agent linked to the January killing of a Hamas chief in Dubai must be brought home and not extradited to Germany, ministers said on Sunday.

According to German weekly Der Spiegel, which broke the story on its website on Saturday, Uri Brodsky was arrested at Warsaw airport on June 4 on suspicion of obtaining a German passport by fraudulent means -- a passport used by one of the killers involved in the assassination of a top Hamas official.

Germany issued an international arrest warrant for Brodsky several weeks ago and prosecutors are pushing for Warsaw to extradite him.

But it was unclear whether Poland -- one of Israel's closest allies -- would agree to a German request to extradite Brodsky.

"Poland needs to tell Germany that it is sending an Israeli citizen to Israel and if there is some complaint against him, we have legal procedures (that) have great credibility with the international legal system," Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov told reporters in Jerusalem.

"First they have to prove that he has done what he is accused of," he said. "(But) for the time being, we are talking about an Israeli citizen. We are obliged to bring him home and this is what we shall do."

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz also voiced opposition to any attempt to extradite Brodsky to Germany for prosecution.

"Israel should oppose the extradition of any Israeli citizen to another country and act to bring him back to this country," he said.

The Dubai hit has sparked a diplomatic crisis for Israel after the team of assassins -- widely believed to be from the Israeli spy agency Mossad -- was found to have used 26 forged passports from Britain, France, Germany, Ireland and Australia.

Der Spiegel was on Monday to publish a fuller article on the incident, which reportedly ties Brodsky to the team involved in the January 20 killing of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of Hamas' military wing, at a luxury Dubai hotel.

Dubai police have released extensive surveillance footage which they say shows suspects from the hit squad who drugged and then suffocated Mabhuh.

Twelve British, six Irish, four French, one German and three Australian passports were used by 26 people who are believed to be linked to the murder, according to Dubai police.

In many cases, the travel documents appeared either to have been faked or obtained illegally.

The issue caused a huge diplomatic row, with London and Canberra both expelling an Israeli diplomat over the passport scandal.

© 2010 AFP

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