Polish authorities have arrested an alleged member of Israeli secret service agency the Mossad, in connection with the ongoing investigation of passport forgeries used during the assassination of a Hamas militant.
The man, using the name Uri Brodsky, was arrested in Warsaw’s international airport on June 4. Germany had issued an arrest warrant for Brodsky after he was tied to a passport issued to a man named Michael Bodenheimer in Cologne. That name was among those Dubai police listed as the assassins of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on January 20.
It is not clear why Brodsky went to Poland.
Spokeswoman for Polish prosecutors, Monika Lewandowska, said Brodsky appeared before a Polish court on June 6, and was ordered to remain in temporary arrest for up to 40 days.
Lewandowska also confirmed the arrest warrant was made “in connection with the murder of a Hamas member in Dubai.”
Israel has reportedly pressured the Polish government to not extradite Brodsky to Germany. Israel’s Foreign Ministry told Ynetnews it knew of the arrest, and was handling the matter as if it were any other case. A senior source in Israel’s Berlin embassy told Ynet that he only heard about the story via the media, and added that German authorities did not approach the embassy or asked for any clarifications thus far.
The German Foreign Minister had no comment on the case, referring back to an ongoing judicial investigation by the federal prosecutor’s office. The Polish Interior Ministry also refused to comment on the arrest.
Dubai’s police chief, Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, says he does not want Brodsky extradited to Dubai, but rather be prosecuted in Germany.
The Brodsky extradition issue puts Poland and Germany, two European nations with strong ties to Israel, in a difficult political and diplomatic situation.
UPDATE (Monday 06.14.2010): Poland has announced that it will extradite Brodsky to Germany.