An accused Mossad agent charged with involvement in the slaying of a Hamas leader in Dubai asked on Monday for a Polish court to send him to Israel instead of extraditing him to Germany.
The suspect, who goes by the name Uri Brodsky, was arrested at Warsaw's international airport in June on a European warrant charging him with espionage and helping to falsely obtain a German passport used in connection with the January 19 slaying of Hamas commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh, which has been widely been blamed on Israel.
On July 7, a district court ordered him extradited to Germany on the forgery charges only meaning that he could only be tried in Germany for forgery and not spying.
The judge argued that Poland cannot extradite Brodsky on espionage charges because espionage against Germany is not a punishable crime in Poland.
That decision would have spared Israel a potentially embarrassing high profile espionage trial. Now the outcome of the case remains unclear because both Brodsky's lawyers and prosecutors who want him extradited on the entirety of the charges have appealed the court's July 7 ruling.
Prosecutors did not give a reason for their stance, but appear interested in fully fulfilling the request made by neighboring Germany, a close ally and important trade partner. One of Brodsky's lawyers, Krzysztof Stepinski, said he filed an appeal Monday in a bid to have his client spared extradition to Germany and have him returned to Israel.
"I believe we will win. I strongly believe that he will be (sent) back to Israel," Stepinski told The Associated Press. He refused to divulge the argument that he was using in his fight against the extradition.
Warsaw prosecutors also appealed the decision last week, said Monika Lewandowska, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors. She said prosecutors disagree with the district court's decision to extradite Brodsky on only part of the charges brought against him by Germany.
Brodsky's case will be heard by the appeals court on August 5, Stepinski said.
Israel has never commented on the killing and has refused comment on Brodsky. The Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav Ner told the AP only that his embassy is offering its consular support to Brodsky.
In two court appearances in Warsaw to date, the suspect concealed his appearance, pulling a hooded jacket around his face as much as possible and covering the rest with his hands. It's not clear if Brodsky is his real name.
Police in the United Arab Emirates said the elaborate hit squad linked to the Jan. 19 slaying of al Mabhouh one of the founders of Hamas' military wing involved some 25 suspects, most of them carrying fake passports from European nations and Australia.
Among the faked passports, according to Dubai police, was one issued by the German city of Cologne with Brodsky's alleged involvement. German weekly Der Spiegel reported the passport was issued to a man named Michael Bodenheimer, the descendent of a German Jew living in Israel.