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Germany releases alleged Israeli agent linked to Dubai murder plot

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The alleged Israeli agent is accused of obtaining a fake German passport
  • Poland extradited him to Germany on the forgery charges
  • He was released on bail and can return to Israel
  • Fake passports were used by many of the suspects in the killing of a Hamas leader

Berlin, Germany (CNN) -- A German court released Friday an alleged Israeli agent extradited from Poland in connection with a Hamas leader's murder in Dubai.

The suspected agent, who often uses the alias Uri Brodsky, is under investigation for helping obtain a false German passport allegedly used by one of the killers in January.

Brodsky is free to travel and can return to Israel though he still faces a possible trial in Germany.

Rainer Wolf, a spokesman for the state prosecutor's office in Cologne, told CNN that the judge decided that keeping Brodsky in custody was excessive considering the severity of the charges and released him on bail.

Brodsky was arrested in Poland two months ago on a European warrant as part of an investigation into the killing.

That warrant accused him on two counts: espionage and forgery. Poland granted Germany's request for extradition but on the condition that it would only be for the forgery charge.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of the Palestinian group Hamas' military wing, was found dead in January in his hotel room in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Police believe he was killed the night before and suspect the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence unit, was behind the assassination.

Several countries including Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia have kicked out Israeli diplomats after concluding Israel had probably forged their countries' passports as part of the operation.

Dubai police have identified 33 suspects in al-Mabhouh's killing. Most of the suspects are believed to have acquired faulty passports to go to Dubai and then fled to other far-flung locations, police said.

Israel has maintained there is no proof linking it to the doctored passports or the killing of al-Mabhouh.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Army Radio in March that there is certainly no reason to think that the Mossad and not some other intelligence agency of another country operated there.

The suspects used British, Irish, French, Australian and German passports. In February, the European Union condemned the use of false EU passports in connection with this case.

Dubai police said toxicology results show al-Mabhouh was injected with succinylcholine, a drug used to relax muscles during surgery or which acts as an anesthetic, before he was suffocated.

There were signs that al-Mabhouh resisted as he was being killed, police said.