Report: U.S. Will Release Spy Files
Mar. 22, 1999
MAINZ, Germany (AP) _ The United States has agreed to turn over former East German spy files taken shortly after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, German television ZDF reported today.
A government spokesman confirmed the report, but said the two sides agreed not to discuss details.
Germany has been pressing for release of the records, and the spokesman said the agreement was reached as a result of a visit to Washington in January by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief of staff.
Officials believe the records will identify people who worked for the Stasi, the communist East German state security service, including Cold War helpers in former West Germany.
The United States has never officially admitted taking the files, whose disappearance from East Germany was considered a triumph of Cold War espionage.
German intelligence officials reportedly have been allowed to review the files in the United States.
German media has previously reported that they identify foreign agents, but do not reveal what secrets they delivered.
However, the government agency that administers the Stasi files in Berlin cracked the code on Stasi magnetic tapes, which could help fill in blanks.
Information from the files was used to convict two people _ Theresa Marie Squillacote and Kurt Alan Stand _ of espionage in Virginia earlier this month, according to court records.