AP NEWS
Related topics

Two Top Government Employees Arrested for Alleged Espionage

April 12, 1990

KARLSRUHE, West Germany (AP) _ Two senior West German government employees have been arrested on suspicion of spying for East Germany, officials said Thursday.

Rolf Hannich, a spokesman for the chief federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe, said a Foreign Ministry employee was arrested Tuesday. A high- ranking official of the federal border police was arrested Wednesday, Hannich said.

Hannich said both suspects were in investigative custody ″on suspicion of working as agents for an East European country.″ He refused to provide any other information, saying it could jeopardize the investigation.

Security and diplomatic sources in Bonn, who requested anonymity, said the Foreign Ministry employee had worked in Paris for the West German UNESCO mission.

According to the Hamburg-based Bild newspaper, the Foreign Ministry employee had been working as an agent since the mid-1970s. A tip leading to the arrest came from a former officer of the East German intelligence agency, Bild said.

The arrests follows reports in Bonn that East German intelligence agents are still gathering information on high-ranking West German officials.

The Bonn-based Die Welt newspaper on Thursday quoted Ottfried Henning, a state secretary in the Ministry for Inner-German relations, as saying officials’ telephone calls are still being tapped by East German security agents.

On April 5, the federal prosecutor’s office announced the arrest of a 45- year-old man working for the West German NATO mission in Brussels.

The Hamburg-based Spiegel magazine on Thursday identified the man as Heinz- Helmuth Werner, a former West German soldier. It said he had been paid by East German intelligence since 1969 to work as an agent.

In a telex report to other news media in advance of its publication Saturday, Spiegel said Werner had access to highly classified material in the West German Foreign Ministry. It said he had worked there since 1974.

The report said Werner was moved to the ministry’s NATO mission in 1987, where he continued to work as a cipher clerk.

According to the report, Werner delivered more classified information to the East Germans and the Soviet KGB than East German spy Guenther Guillaume.

Guillaume was a top aide to then-Chancellor Willy Brandt. Brandt resigned in 1974 after Guillaume was unmasked as an East German spy.

Guillaume was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 1975, and six years later traded in a spy swap to East Germany.

AP RADIO
Update hourly