Israeli 'agent' may only be fined after extradition: expert

6th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A suspected Israeli agent, wanted by Germany for alleged links to the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai, may only be fined once extradited by Poland, a legal expert said Friday.

A Polish court on Thursday upheld a decision to extradite Uri Brodsky over the murder in Dubai of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, the founder of the military wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in January.

He is to be deported to Germany by mid-August, but "he cannot be prosecuted in Germany for reasons other than those for which he will be extradited", namely forgery of official documents, international law expert Kai Petars told AFP.

Brodsky, who is an Israeli citizen, is wanted by Berlin for allegedly having obtained a German passport under false pretences, an offence punishable under German law by up to three years in prison or a fine.

The document was found to have been used by a member of the hit-squad that killed Mabhuh in Dubai.

The hit squad, which Dubai police believe was from Israeli spy agency Mossad, was found to have used 26 doctored foreign passports, sparking diplomatic fallout not only with Germany but also Australia, Britain, France and Ireland.

According to German weekly Der Spiegel, which broke the story last month, Brodsky was arrested on June 4 at Warsaw airport by Polish authorities acting on a European Union warrant issued by Germany.

In the wake of Brodsky's arrest, Israel called on Poland to send him straight home rather than handing him over to Germany.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk dubbed the issue "delicate", pointing to the tragic history between Poland, Germany and Israel.

Nazi-era Germany occupied Poland during World War II. Half of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust were from Poland.

Warsaw now has close ties with both Germany and Israel, but Tusk said the law leaves Polish justice authorities little room for manoeuvre.

Brodsky's case is likely to be handled by the western city of Cologne where he allegedly illegally obtained the German passport, said Petars.

© 2010 AFP

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