BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities have released a suspected Israeli spy on bail pending a decision on whether he was involved in the falsification of a German passport linked to the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai.
A spokesman for state prosecutors in Cologne said Uri Brodsky had been freed from police custody just before 1000 GMT on Friday and that he would not have to stand trial in Germany.
“The matter can now be dealt with by written proceedings,” the court spokesman said, adding that Brodsky had not commented on whether he was involved in the falsification of the passport issued in Cologne last year.
The spokesman said the court had a range of options it could pursue against Brodsky and that his lawyers had signaled their agreement to this. The most likely option was a fine of some kind, he added.
The spokesman would not say what bail was set at nor where Brodsky was headed. However, he noted that if Brodsky left Germany by land he risked possible arrest in neighboring countries on suspicion of spying.
This would also be the case should he return to Germany, where he could not initially face a spying charge because his extradition had only been possible on the grounds that he was suspected of involvement in the falsification of the passport, not spying, the spokesman said.
Brodsky was extradited from Poland on Thursday on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining a German passport believed to have been used by a member of the hit squad that Dubai says killed Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room in January.
The hit squad used fraudulent British, French, Irish and Australian as well as German passports, according to Dubai.
Mabhouh, born in the Gaza Strip, had lived in Syria since 1989 and Israeli and Palestinian sources have said he played a role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to militants in Gaza.
Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Jon Hemming