Mossad operative to avoid jail in extradition deal

Uri Brodsky

"Uri Brodsky"

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
An operative of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, who was arrested in Poland on charges of forging a German passport, will avoid prison time for the offense, under a suspected Polish-German-Israeli secret deal. The man, whose travel documents identify him as Uri Brodsky, was arrested upon arriving in Poland on June 4. He is wanted by German prosecutors for procuring a forged German passport for use by a member of a Mossad hit squad, who used it to enter Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in mid-January of this year. The user of the forged passport is thought to have participated in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas weapons procurer, who was found dead in his luxury Dubai hotel room on January 20.  German prosecutors believe that Brodsky, who worked in Germany under the name of Alexander Werin, assisted numerous Mossad operatives acquire forged identity papers of several European countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Austria and Switzerland. Upon his arrest in Poland, which was rapidly followed by a formal German extradition request, the Israeli government called on both Poland and Germany to drop all charges against Brodsky and allow him to escape to Israel. However, German prosecutors, who strongly objected to Israel’s use of forged German travel documents in a covert assassination operation, rejected the request. Nevertheless, Israeli pressure appears to have paid off. Even though a Polish court on Thursday upheld an earlier decision to extradite Brodsky to Germany, a legal expert told French news agency Agence France Presse on Friday that the Israeli spy will not be prosecuted for espionage once under German custody (see previous intelNews coverage). Instead, Brodsky will be tried in the city of Cologne for “forging official documents”, said international legal scholar Kai Petars. Even though this offense carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, Petars and other sources have said that Brodsky will probably “only be fined” and will then be allowed to go to Israel.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

6 Responses to Mossad operative to avoid jail in extradition deal

  1. Carsten Wiethoff says:

    The picture shown is the passport photo of “Michael Bodenheimer”, whose passport was acquired with the help of “Uri Brodsky”. It does not show Brodsky himself.

  2. intelNews says:

    Yes and no. The picture shown is in fact from the passport of “Michael Bodenheimer”, as can be seen here. However, it was “Brodsky” who applied for this passport in Germany, under the name “Michael Bodenheimer”, and it was he who was “present during the passport application process” in Cologne, and supplied his picture for the passport to be issued. The passport was then utilized by a Mossad agent with a mild resemblance to “Brodsky”, who used it to enter the United Arab Emirates. Suggestions welcome. [IA]

  3. Carsten Wiethoff says:

    In the German Der Spiegel it was reported differently:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,701826,00.html

    Quote:
    The day the Mossad operation on German soil began was a clear, sunny Sunday in late March 2009. Alexander Verin, who holds an Israeli passport, had an appointment with an attorney in Cologne to discuss naturalization. Verin was accompanied by a man named Michael Bodenheimer, who claimed that he was an Israeli of German descent. Bodenheimer wanted to apply for a German passport, but Verin, who had made the appointment, was doing most of the talking.
    End Quote
    So it was “Bodeheimer” applying for the passport, not Verin/Brodsky. Where did you read that “Brodsky”s picture was used?

  4. intelNews says:

    You are absolutely right, and in fact this account is confirmed in stern.de. However, we have reason to believe that so-called “Bodenheimer” was not at all present during the passport application, and that “Brodsky’s” application, which was based on a concocted story connected with the Holocaust, was full of inconsistencies and red flags. IntelNews has heard privately from two sources in Cologne who claim that the real story here is the amateurism and lack of attention to detail that permitted the local authorities to issue the –essentially forged– passport. It is thus a story of unwilling (or maybe willing?) accomplices at the local passport office in Cologne. This whole question could be easily clarified if “Brodsky’s” custodians released a photograph of him. The fact that they haven’t yet should raise questions. As should the fact that Polish authorities went out of their way to provide “Brodsky” with a convenient poncho, complete with oversize hood, which has been great help in shielding him from cameras. I wonder whether they do that for everyone on the Interpol wanted list? In any case, we are monitoring this closely, and we will update the photograph if our information turns out to be inaccurate. If you have information to the contrary, please email me. [IA]

  5. rachel says:

    I thought forging a passport is a federal crime. How come this Brodsky guy is not put in prison for forging a German passport???

  6. intelNews says:

    @rachel, Looks like you’re not the only one with those questions:

    UAE asks Germany to explain the release of alleged Israeli spy. [IA]

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