x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Arrest made in slaying of Hamas leader at Dubai hotel

German investigation into falsified passports used in the assassination led to the man's detention this month in Warsaw.

BERLIN // Polish police have arrested a suspected Mossad agent sought by German authorities on suspicion of helping prepare for the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a senior Hamas figure, in a Dubai hotel in January.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office in Germany said the man was detained by Polish police on suspicion of illegally obtaining a German passport for one of the members of the hit squad. Authorities in Poland were reviewing a request to extradite him to Germany, the office said. "A person was arrested in Poland based on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany, and his extradition has been requested," a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said. "The matter is now in the hands of the Polish authorities."

The Dubai Police chief, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said last night that his department had been informed of the arrest. He could not be reached for further comment. The German spokesman said the arrest was linked to the German investigation into the illegal obtaining of a passport in the name of Michael Bodenheimer, which was allegedly used by one of the assassins. "There is a suspicion that he was involved in intelligence activity and that the procurement of the passport was linked to that," the spokesman said, adding that the arrest took place at the Frederic Chopin International Airport in Warsaw early this month.

Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, reported yesterday that border guards had arrested the man as he was trying to enter Poland with a passport bearing the name of "Uri Brodsky". There was no official confirmation of the name and no statement on where he had flown in from. It is unclear how long it will take for Polish authorities to decide on the extradition request. According to Der Spiegel, investigators suspect that Mr Brodsky, who has Israeli citizenship, of helping another suspected Mossad agent apply for the Bodenheimer passport at a registry office in the western German city of Cologne in early 2009.

newsdesk@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by Wafa Issa