German army employee goes on trial for spying for Iran | News | DW | 20.01.2020
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German army employee goes on trial for spying for Iran

The German-Afghan man is accused of passing state secrets to the Iranian secret service while working as a translator and consultant to the German military. He faces charges of treason and violating state secrets.

The trial of a suspected spy for Iranian intelligence begins Monday in the western German city of Koblenz. 

Prosecutors have charged the 51-year-old, known as Abdul S., with one count of treason, in addition to 18 cases of violating official secrets.

"Abdul S. is strongly suspected of abusing his position as a civilian employee of the Bundeswehr to pass on military state secrets to a member of the Iranian secret service," court documents stated.

The suspect's wife will also stand trial, facing charges of aiding and abetting the activities of her husband. The 16 days of trial allocated for her, however, will take place in March.

Behind closed doors

Abdul S. worked for the Bundeswehr in the small town of Daun, in the Eifel region in western Germany, before he was arrested in January 2019.

Due to the sensitive nature of the accusations, the trial will be held behind closed doors. Members of the public may not attend parts of the trial where accusations regarding the official secrets were referenced.

The man has not yet entered a plea, said the court.

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Iran actively looking for spies

German intelligence officers view Iran as one of the most active states in carrying out espionage against Germany, together with China, Russia, and Turkey.

According to information from Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Iranian secret service is always on the lookout for "suitable informants to meet the requirements of the Iranian government."

kmm/rt (dpa)

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