German spy charged with treason for aiding CIA and Russia
Aug. 20, 2015
BERLIN (AP) — A German spy who allegedly acted as a double agent for the United States and Russia has been charged with treason, breach of official secrecy and taking bribes, Germany's federal prosecutors' office said Thursday.
The 32-year-old, identified only as Markus R. due to privacy rules, is accused of offering his services to the CIA in early 2008 while working for Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND. Documents he gave the U.S. spy agency would have revealed details of the BND's work and personnel abroad, officials said.
"In doing so the accused caused serious danger to Germany's external security," prosecutors said in a statement. "In return the accused received sums amounting to at least 95,000 euros ($104,900) from the CIA."
Shortly before his arrest in July 2014, Markus R. also offered to work for Russian intelligence and provided them with three documents, again harming Germany's national security, prosecutors said.
The discovery that the CIA had allegedly been spying on its German counterpart caused anger in Berlin, adding to diplomatic tension between Germany and the United States over reports about U.S. surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.
Following the arrest, the German government demanded the removal of the CIA station chief in Berlin.
Prosecutors said Markus R. would have had access to sensitive documents because his job involved handling mail and classified documents for the BND's foreign operations department.
German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the 218 documents Markus R. allegedly passed to the CIA included a list of all BND agents abroad, a summary of an eavesdropped phone call between former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as well as a draft counter-espionage strategy. A spokeswoman for the federal prosecutors' office declined to comment on the report.
If convicted, Markus R. could face between one and 15 years in prison.