MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ A German was convicted of treason Tuesday for providing technology to Iraq that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Karl-Heinz Schaab, a 64-year-old engineer, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $32,000 by the Munich High State Court.

The court found he sold plans to Iraq in 1989 for building a gas centrifuge that could be used to produce weapons-grade uranium, and that in 1990 he helped in building it.

Schaab, who fled Germany in 1995, was arrested in December 1996 in Brazil, where he spent 15 months in prison pending extradition. In 1998 he returned to Germany voluntarily for trial.

Because of credit for time served and other factors, he most likely will now be released on probation, according to his lawyer, Michael Rietz.

Prosecutors had asked for a six-year sentence.

Schaab had admitted helping Iraq but denied the information he provided was sensitive or critical enough to be considered treason. He also maintained others were involved and that his role was minimal.

Schaab worked on new technologies with the German engineering conglomerate MAN until 1982, when he left to set up a consulting business.

He was working as a subcontractor with Urenco, a German-Dutch-British coalition for uranium-enrichment technology, in the late 1980s when he was approached by Iraqi scientists looking for help with their program, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.

In 1993, Schaab was convicted of violating German export laws for selling Iraq blueprints for a gas centrifuge that could be used to make weapons-grade uranium. He was sentenced to 11 months probation in that case.

The new charges were brought after U.N. inspectors in Iraq uncovered evidence indicating the plans Schaab sold to Iraq were for a more advanced centrifuge than had been believed.

The U.N. inspectors, who assessed Iraq's nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War, found that Iraq was one or two years away from building a nuclear bomb.