Germany frees Israeli 'agent' suspected in Hamas murder

Image caption,
Uri Brodsky is suspected of espionage but can only be charged with illegally procuring a passport

A German court has released on bail a suspected Israeli agent arrested in connection with the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai.

German prosecutors said Uri Brodsky was free to travel while judicial proceedings in Germany continued.

He is accused of helping procure the German passport allegedly used in the January murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouth.

The UAE believes Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, was involved, though Israel insists there is no proof.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli citizen, was arrested in Poland in June on a warrant issued by Germany and extradited on Thursday.

After a closed hearing on Friday, a German judge decided he would not be detained while the case against him continues.

"He can return to Israel today if he wants to," said Rainer Wolf, a spokesman for Cologne's prosecutors' office.

The warrant that he was arrested under accused him of espionage, though the court that granted the extradition said he could only be prosecuted for illegally procuring a German passport believed to have been used by one of the assassins.

Formal charges have not yet been filed against him.

Dubai police have said they are 99% sure that members of Mossad were involved in the killing of Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, who was found dead in a Dubai hotel on 20 January.

Forged passports from several Western countries were used by the 30 suspects identified, leading to a series of diplomatic rows with Israel.

The UK, Irish Republic and Australia have all expelled Israeli diplomats.

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