German reservist on trial accused of spying for Russia
BERLIN (AP) — A German army reservist went on trial Thursday in Duesseldorf accused of providing sensitive military information tor Russia.
Prosecutors alleged that the 65-year-old lieutenant colonel of the reserve, whose was only identified as Ralph G. in line with German privacy rules, was active for Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency from 2014.
The German news agency dpa reported that the man, who works for an American company, supplied the GRU with information from public and non-public sources, including private contact details for high-ranking members of the German military.
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 alleged the defendant knew that 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, although his home was only searched two years later.
Dpa quoted a court spokeswoman for the Duesseldorf regional court saying that the defendant had partly admitted the allegations against him to investigators ahead of the trial. The defendant’s lawyer said his client would also respond publicly to the allegations during the trial.
Germany has identified several suspected Russian spies on its territory in recent times.