Ex German officer accused of espionage for Russia

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Ex German officer accused of espionage for Russia

A former reserve officer of the German military rejected serious accusations of espionage for Russia in a court in Dusseldorf on Thursday, reported dpa.

While the man had passed information on, it had "not been nearly as valuable as made out" by the court, the defence lawyer of the 65-year-old said.

The lawyer said that it was not a case of acting as a secret agent, and that the defendant should be pronounced not guilty.

"From his point of view, it was a peace mission," the lawyer said, adding that the defendant had good intentions and was seeking to promote relations between Germany and Russia.

According to the prosecution, the accused has been supplying the Russian secret service GRU with information since 2014. He faces up to 10 years in prison for espionage.

The prosecution assumes that "sympathies for the Russian Federation" are the motive for the crime. He was found out after being invited to official Russian events such as the Moscow Security Conference.

The German military counter-intelligence service MAD uncovered his activities in 2018.

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