Poland wants to avoid fallout in Israeli 'agent' case: PM

15th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday he hoped to avoid diplomatic fallout from Poland's planned handover to Germany of an Israeli suspected of being linked to the killing of a Hamas chief.

"I don't need to explain to anyone how delicate this case is, given the historical issues in this triangle between Poland, Israel and Germany," Tusk said, in an apparent reference to Nazi-era Germany's brutal World War II occupation of Poland and genocide of the Jews.

"The law doesn't give Polish justice much room for manoeuvre," he said.

"We don't want this case to have any negative impact on Polish-Israeli and Polish-German relations," he added.

On Monday, Polish prosecutors said they would seek a court order for the extradition to Germany of a man wanted there and detained in Poland.

They said Germany had filed a European Union arrest warrant against him -- a move which speeds up extraditions in the 27-nation bloc.

Polish officials have refused to identify the man, named in German media as Uri Brodsky, a purported agent of Israel's Mossad spy service.

According to German weekly Der Spiegel, which broke the story on its website on Saturday, Brodsky was arrested at Warsaw airport on June 4 on suspicion of obtaining a German passport fraudulently.

The passport was used by people involved in the January 20 assassination in Dubai of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of the military wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Germany issued an international warrant for Brodsky several weeks ago.

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

Poland is one of Israel's closest allies.

On Sunday, Israeli ministers called on Warsaw to send the man home and said they opposed his extradition to Germany.

© 2010 AFP

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