BERLIN (AP) — A German man has been charged with espionage for allegedly passing data on properties utilized by the German parliament to Russian army intelligence, prosecutors stated Thursday.
The suspect, recognized solely as Jens F. in keeping with German privateness guidelines, labored for an organization that had been repeatedly contracted to verify moveable electrical home equipment by the Bundestag, or the decrease home of parliament, federal prosecutors stated in an announcement.
Because of that, he had entry to PDF recordsdata with ground plans of the properties concerned. The Bundestag is predicated within the Reichstag constructing, a Berlin landmark, but in addition makes use of a number of different websites.
Prosecutors stated, sooner or later earlier than early September 2017, the suspect “determined of his personal accord” to present data on the properties to Russian intelligence. They stated he despatched the PDF recordsdata to an worker of the Russian Embassy in Berlin who was an officer with Russia’s GRU army intelligence company.
They didn’t specify how his actions got here to gentle.
The fees towards the suspect, who just isn’t in custody, had been filed at a Berlin courtroom on Feb. 12. The courtroom should resolve whether or not to go forward with a trial.
Relations between Germany and Russia have been buffeted by a rising record of points lately.
In October, the European Union imposed sanctions on two Russian officers and a part of the GRU company over a cyberattack towards the German parliament in 2015.
As well as, a Russian man accused of killing a Georgian man in broad daylight in downtown Berlin on Moscow’s orders in 2019 is on trial in Berlin.
And final yr’s poisoning of Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny, who was flown to Germany for remedy after which arrested instantly after he returned to Russia, has added one other layer of tensions.