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Brodsky To Be Extradited on Lesser Charge

Alleged Mossad agent may appeal Polish decision

Marc Tracy
July 08, 2010
The false passport for Michael Bodenheimer.(JPost)
The false passport for Michael Bodenheimer.(JPost)

Uri Brodsky, the alleged Mossad agent who is the first person arrested in connection with the January assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, will be extradited from Poland to Germany to face charges of illegally obtaining a German passport, a Polish court ruled. (He may appeal.)

While Israel had hoped the Polish judge would deny Germany’s request for extradition altogether, the ruling was actually not nearly as bad, from Israel’s and Brodsky’s perspectives, as it could have been: It extradites not for the much more serious charge of espionage, but rather for the lesser crime of forgery. Why? Because—unsurprisingly, when you come to think of it—spying on Germany is not a crime in Poland.

Brodsky (which may or may not be his real name) is not suspected to have been directly involved in the assassination. Rather, he stands accused of procuring a fraudulent passport for one of the assassins in the name of Michael Bodenheimer—a real-life Israeli rabbi who, being the American-born son of a pre-World War II German citizen, is entitled to a German passport under German law. Al-Mabhouh buffs will recall that the single German passport used by the assassins was, in fact, a genuine one.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.