JERUSALEM (Apr. 26)
An Israeli Mossad agent caught during a bungled spy operation in Switzerland has returned home.
The agent, identified only by his age, 44, returned to Israel on Saturday after Israeli authorities guaranteed that he would return to Switzerland to stand trial.
The agent was one of five Mossad operatives caught red-handed in February while attempting to bug an apartment near the Swiss capital of Bern. The apartment belonged to a businessman with suspected links to the Islamic fundamentalist group Hezbollah.
The other four agents were released by local police after being detained briefly.
Swiss officials issued a statement over the weekend confirming that the agent had been allowed to return to Israel “after his questioning was concluded and it was agreed that his continued detention was not required.”
It was not immediately clear when the agent would stand trial or whether the proceedings would be open or closed.
The agent may face charges that include violating Swiss sovereignty and conducting foreign intelligence activities in another country.
In a statement issued earlier this month, the Swiss prosecutor disclosed that the equipment for the bugging operation had been transferred to Switzerland in a diplomatic bag.
The operation, which came on the heels of a failed attempt last September by Mossad to assassinate a Hamas official in Jordan, contributed to former Mossad head Danny Yatom’s recent decision to resign.
He was replaced by Ephraim Halevy, a former diplomat and senior Mossad official.