• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Germany charges two alleged Russian spies

The Local · 28 Sep 2012, 08:32

Published: 28 Sep 2012 08:32 GMT+02:00

The man and woman, who German media said are married, were arrested last October after police raided their home in the western town of Ballingen, reportedly catching the woman red-handed listening to coded messages.

The federal prosecutor's office identified the two suspects only by their "aliases", Andreas and Heidrun A.

It said they had established residency in Germany in 1988 using fake Austrian documentation, setting up a "middle-class existence to cover up their activity for the secret services".

It was a year before the Berlin Wall fell and the Russian security services (SVR) were still the Soviet Union's KGB.

"The accused had the task of gathering information about the political and military strategy of the EU and NATO," the prosecutor's office said.

They are accused of running another agent from October 2008 to August 2011 who spirited official documents about EU and NATO affairs from the Dutch foreign ministry to them.

"The accused, alias Andreas A., then delivered them to his headquarters via so-called dead letterboxes," it said.

"Until their arrest on October 18, 2011 they also provided political-social information about general and security-relevant political aspects of relations between Germany, the EU and NATO to Russia."

During that time they allegedly remained in constant contact with the SVR, via satellite transmissions and "an Internet video portal."

In exchange, they received nearly €100,000 in payments per year for their services as spies, the prosecutor's office said.

Story continues below…

Germany's domestic intelligence services discovered the couple after receiving a tip from the FBI in the United States, which had unmasked Russian SVR agents on its own soil.

Der Spiegel reported last year that Andreas and Heidrun were believed to have married in 1990 and have one daughter, but the prosecutor's office declined to confirm this.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:26 September 28, 2012 by William Thirteen
bet that was a nice gig!
16:48 September 28, 2012 by IchBinKönig
We had the same thing in the USA. One was a Democratic fundraiser, the other a Journalist for spanish language newspaper, El Diario. Is it starting to make sense?

Then we have the useful idiots, like Matt Damon. Who makes anti-natural gas films for the UAE. He's so smart. How's that new ending coming, Matt?
22:42 September 28, 2012 by Motorhead
Geesh, can the make the "sign out" tab a little more harder to find on this site?
Today's headlines
VW to pay US suppliers $1.2 bln over Dieselgate
Volkswagen model vehicles on a dealer lot in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Photo: Cj Gunther/Picture Alliance/DPA

German auto giant Volkswagen has agreed to pay US suppliers $1.2 billion to settle claims emanating from the "Dieselgate" pollution scandal, the firm and suppliers said late Friday.

This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd