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Germany: intelligence employee charged with treason

32 year-old Markus R. accused of selling secret documents to CIA and Russian secret service

20.08.2015
Germany: intelligence employee charged with treason

BERLIN

Prosecutors have charged an employee of German intelligence service BND with treason, after investigators found out that he leaked secret documents to the American and Russian secret services.

The federal Public Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday that the 32 year-old Markus R. is charged with treason, for providing secret documents to the U.S. intelligence agency CIA between the years 2008-2014, and also for passing secrets to Russian secret service in 2014.

Prosecutors claimed that Markus R. received a t least €95,000 for the secret documents it passed to the CIA through electronic channels.

They also accused him for providing secret documents to Russian secret service, through the Russian general consulate in Munich.

“The accused caused a serious risk of severe harm to the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany," prosecutors said in a written statement.

Markus R., who has been under arrest since July 2014, had entered the BND in 2007, and was responsible for the incoming and outgoing post at the international relations department of the German intelligence, which has its headquarters in Pullach near Munich.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Thursday that Markus R. had access to top secret documents, including the name list of all BND agents sent to foreign countries, and transcripts of tapped phone conversations of senior politicians, a secret concept of BND for counter-espionage.

Markus R. is suspected of delivering at least 218 documents to CIA. Investigators found out these documents in a USB stick during searches in his home last year.

If convicted, Markus R. faces at least a year in prison. German penal code foresees prison sentences between five years and life on more serious treason cases.

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