Newspaper Says Missing Secretary Was Soviet Spy With AM-Germany Spying, Bjt
HAMBURG, West Germany (AP) _ A secretary in the Economics Ministry who disappeared more than three weeks ago was not a spy for East Germany, as was suspected, but for the Soviet Union, a newspaper said Saturday.
The Hamburg-published Bild am Sonntag said Sonja Lueneberg, 60, had fled because she feared betrayal by Vitali Yurchenko, a Soviet spy who recently defected in Rome.
It quoted unnamed West German government sources as saying they had been assured by the East Germans that Ms. Lueneberg ″is not one of us,″ but worked for the Soviets.
Ms. Lueneberg was employed for 12 years as the chief secretary to Martin Bangemann, who has been economics minister since June, 1984, and chairman of his Free Democratic Party since February.
Her disappearance Aug. 6 marked the start of West Germany’s unfolding espionage scandal, which escalated Aug. 19 with the disappearance of a top West German counterspy, Hans-Joachim Tiedge.
Without naming its sources, Bild am Sonntag said Yurchenko had worked for many years for U.S. intelligence. It said he has been flown to the United States.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said Friday that Yurchenko was a top official of the Soviet secret police, the KGB. It said Yurchenko had been sent to Rome in July on an unspecified assignment in July and disappeared Aug. 1.
Bavaria’s governor, Franz Josef Strauss, said he will ″not make much of a fuss″ about communist spies if he meets with East Germany’s Communist Party leader Erich Honecker at a trade fair Sunday, according to Bild am Sonntag.$
It quoted Strauss as saying in an interview it was ″very probable″ he and Honecker would meet at the autumn trade fair in Leipzig, East Germany.
It would be the first high-level meeting between officials of the two Germanys since the espionage scandal started.
Honecker has made no official comment on the scandal, but said last week he favors cooperation in relations with West Germany.
A Bonn daily newspaper, Die Welt, reported Saturday that America’s CIA had taken over reponsibility for the security of an East German diplomat who defected to the West from Argentina last weekend.
Martin Winkler, formerly the No. 2 man at the East German Embassy in Buenos Aires, is staying at a U.S. ″security camp″ in southern West Germany, Die Welt said, without naming its sources. The report said Winkler has asked for political asylum in the United States.
It was unclear what a ″security camp″ was. A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn refused to comment on the report.
Bonn’s spy scandal has brought the dismissal of West German intelligence chief Heribert Hellenbroich.
In addition to Ms. Lueneberg and Tiedge, two other suspected agents have disappeared from Bonn. Another suspected East German spy, Margarete Hoeke, a former secretary in President Richard von Weizsaecker’s office, has been arrested.