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German reserve on trial accused of spying for Russia

BERLIN – A German military reserve was put on trial on Thursday in Duesseldorf on charges of providing sensitive military information to Russia.

Prosecutors allege that the reserve’s 65-year-old lieutenant colonel, who has only been identified as Ralph G. under German privacy regulations, has been working for Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency since year 2014.

The German news agency dpa reported that the man, who works for an American company, provided the GRU with information from public and non-public sources, including private contact details of senior members. high in the German army.

He also provided the GRU with “an overview of the security and defense policies of the United States and its Western allies,” according to the prosecutor.

Federal prosecutors allege the defendant knew he was dealing with Russian spies and that he was motivated to help them – seemingly for free – by his sympathy for Russia. , dpa reported.

Germany’s military counterintelligence agency became suspicious of the man’s activities in 2018, even though his home was searched only two years later.

Dpa quoted a spokeswoman for the Duesseldorf regional court as saying that the defendant had partially admitted the charges against him to investigators before the trial. The defendant’s attorney said his client will also respond publicly to the allegations during the trial.

Germany has identified several suspected Russian spies on its territory recently.

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