Uri Brodsky of Israel, alleged spy, arrives at the Warsaw appeal court on August 5, 2010 following his arrest at the Warsaw airport on June 4, 2010. AFP PHOTO / MARCIN LOBACZEWSKI
Uri Brodsky, who allegedly assisted in the murder of a Hamas official in Dubai, arrives at a Warsaw court on August 5.

Germany 'forced' to release Brodsky



BERLIN // German authorities insisted yesterday that they had no choice but to release the only suspect arrested so far in the Mahmoud al Mabhouh murder case, and denied that they had been subjected to any political pressure in their decision.

Uri Brodsky, the suspected Mossad agent accused of helping to obtain a German passport for one of the assassins, was released on bail on Friday, days after he had been extradited from Poland. German justice authorities said they had wanted to charge Mr Brodsky on two counts - working for a foreign intelligence service and fraudulently obtaining documents. But the Warsaw court had stipulated that he could only be extradited to Germany if he were prosecuted on the latter charge, which carries a fine only.

Mr Brodsky had been arrested on June 4 on a Europe-wide arrest warrant filed by German federal prosecutors. The document fraud charges were issued in Cologne. "We only had the narrow scope to prosecute him for the document crime, we weren't allowed to use anything else against him," Rainer Wolf, the Cologne prosecutor who handled the case, said. "The Polish justice system doesn't allow the extradition of people for crimes that have a political background. That reduced any prospective sentence, especially if you factor in his time in custody since June 4."

Mr Wolf said Mr Brodsky, who arrived in Israel on Saturday night, could not be forced to return to stand trial in Germany. His presence may not even be necessary because the bail paid was big enough to cover any fine, and the case may be continued in abstentia, Mr Wolf said. "The other charge of intelligence activity will continue to be pursued but not by the Cologne prosecutor's office," he said. "That is up to the federal prosecutor's office. They couldn't do anything because the Poles in effect forbade it."

German prosecutors allege that Mr Brodsky helped one of the suspected assassins to obtain a German passport at a Cologne registry office in the name of Michael Bodenheimer. That passport was used by one of the more than 20 members of the hit squad that allegedly drugged and strangled the senior Hamas leader in his Dubai hotel room in January. The German federal prosecutor's office said Mr Brodsky was "under urgent suspicion of cooperating in obtaining the passport in Germany".

While Mr Brodsky owes his freedom in part to the complex machinations of the European justice system, it will be difficult for Berlin and Warsaw to allay suspicions abroad that political pressure played a part. But Mr Wolf said he and the Cologne court had agreed that Mr Brodsky be released and that no outside influence had been brought to bear on him. "I can say with a clear conscience that I would resist any influence. I'm an independent prosecutor and no one influenced me," he said.

The German foreign ministry dedclined to comment on the Cologne court's decision. "In the Brodsky case the decision taken by the German court responsible was independent and taken purely in accordance with judicial criteria," a ministry spokesman said. "The federal government won't comment on this independent court decision." The spokesman added: "Germany remains determined to contribute to the investigation of the al Mabhouh case."

The federal prosecutor's office could not be reached for comment. Israeli officials had been pushing for Mr Brodsky's release, and the case was causing diplomatic tensions between Israel and its two close allies Germany and Poland. Friday's ruling by a court in Cologne and Mr Brodsky's subsequent swift return to Israel is embarrassing for the German government, which had joined international calls in February for a thorough investigation into the suspected Mossad hit on the Hamas leader in Dubai.

Meanwhile, the EU arrest warrant against Mr Brodsky remains in force. That means that if he were to return to Germany or any other EU nation, he could be arrested again on the charge of intelligence activity, because the confines of the Polish extradition ruling would no longer apply, said Mr Wolf. The agents' use of non-Israeli passports, including a German one, to enter Dubai for the killing led to a chorus of criticism of Israel around the world, although Germany's reaction was noticeably more restrained. Berlin refrained, for example, from summoning the Israeli ambassador to protest.

In Germany, unwavering support for Israel is a firm part of state doctrine because of the Holocaust. Politicians from mainstream parties are wary of criticising Israel for fear this may be construed as anti-Semitism. A report in Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, said the Mossad had tapped into the German sense of guilt to help it obtain the passport, and that this ploy in particular had angered the German authorities.

Allegedly helped by Mr Brodsky, the man calling himself Michael Bodenheimer had told the Cologne registry office that his father, Hans, had emigrated to Israel to escape Nazi persecution, Der Spiegel reported in June. In such cases, the German constitution makes it easy for descendants to gain citizenship. The man calling himself Bodenheimer promptly received his German papers on June 18 2009. foreign.desk@thenational.ae

BABYLON

Director: Damien Chazelle

Stars: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.

 

2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.

 

3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 

 

4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.

 

5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

AGL AWARDS

Golden Ball - best Emirati player: Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira)
Golden Ball - best foreign player: Igor Coronado (Sharjah)
Golden Glove - best goalkeeper: Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah)
Best Coach - the leader: Abdulaziz Al Anbari (Sharjah)
Fans' Player of the Year: Driss Fetouhi (Dibba)
Golden Boy - best young player: Ali Saleh (Al Wasl)
Best Fans of the Year: Sharjah
Goal of the Year: Michael Ortega (Baniyas)

Company Profile

Company name: NutriCal

Started: 2019

Founder: Soniya Ashar

Based: Dubai

Industry: Food Technology

Initial investment: Self-funded undisclosed amount

Future plan: Looking to raise fresh capital and expand in Saudi Arabia

Total Clients: Over 50

'Brazen'

Director:+Monika Mitchell

Starring:+Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Colleen Wheeler

Rating: 3/5

Kibsons Cares

Recycling
Any time you receive a Kibsons order, you can return your cardboard box to the drivers. They’ll be happy to take it off your hands and ensure it gets reused

Kind to health and planet
Solar – 25-50% of electricity saved
Water – 75% of water reused
Biofuel – Kibsons fleet to get 20% more mileage per litre with biofuel additives

Sustainable grocery shopping
No antibiotics
No added hormones
No GMO
No preservatives
MSG free
100% natural

OPENING FIXTURES

Saturday September 12

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Fulham v Arsenal

Liverpool v Leeds United

Tottenham v Everton

West Brom v Leicester

West Ham  v Newcastle

Monday  September 14

Brighton v Chelsea

Sheffield United v Wolves

To be rescheduled

Burnley v Manchester United

Manchester City v Aston Villa

Company profile

Company name: Suraasa

Started: 2018

Founders: Rishabh Khanna, Ankit Khanna and Sahil Makker

Based: India, UAE and the UK

Industry: EdTech

Initial investment: More than $200,000 in seed funding

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


View from London

Your weekly update from the UK and Europe

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      View from London