Germany puts reserve officer on trial over spying for Russia | News
The 65-year-old man faces up to 10 years in prison for allegedly spying for Russia’s foreign intelligence agency.
A reserve officer of the German Armed Forces has been put on trial for allegedly passing on sensitive information to Russia’s GRU foreign intelligence agency between 2014 and 2020.
The 65-year-old is on trial in Dusseldorf Higher District Court, and if found guilty he could face up to 10 years in prison.
According to the indictment, the man from Erkrath near Dusseldorf betrayed information about the inner workings of the Bundeswehr reserve system and about civilian-military cooperation in crisis situations.
This information is also believed to be related to the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 after annexation of Crimea and the Baltic Sea Nord Stream 2 pipelinea project that was halted after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
According to the indictment, the documents and information came partly from public sources but also from non-public sources.
As for the motive, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office doubts “sympathy towards the Russian Federation”. They were unable to set up any monetary payments.
Defendant drew attention for being invited by the Russian authorities to official events.
A court spokesman said he made a partial confession during the preliminary proceedings.
In June, the Dutch intelligence agency unconcealed a Russian military spy is trying to use the false identity of an intern to infiltrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is investigating the allegations war crimes in Ukraine.