Spy jailed for aiding Iranian missile programme

An Iranian-Canadian businessman who had spied for Germany for more than a decade has been convicted of supporting Tehran's missile programme, according to a German press report to published Monday.

Spy jailed for aiding Iranian missile programme
Photo: DPA

News weekly Der Spiegel said the man, who was codenamed Sinbad and seen as an important source on the Iranian arms programme by Germany’s intelligence service, the BND, was sentenced by Berlin’s superior court of justice to three years in prison.

No one at the court could be reached for comment.

Der Spiegel said Sinbad had received more than €1 million ($1.4 million) over the years from the BND for his services but was at the same time selling high-tech equipment to a company believed to be helping Tehran produce Shahab missiles.

He was arrested last October. The magazine said that German justice officials, the defendant and the BND agreed to wrap up the trial quickly and discreetly.

In return, Sinbad has been ordered to leave Germany and serve his sentence abroad.

Der Spiegel said German intelligence experts were still unsure if he had been working as a double agent and delivering information to Germany with the knowledge of the Iranian government.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners