Germany Charges Own Spy with Treason for Passing Secrets to U.S., Russia

World | August 20, 2015, Thursday // 21:34
Bulgaria: Germany Charges Own Spy with Treason for Passing Secrets to U.S., Russia The entrance to the BND headquarters in Pulach, near Minich, Germany. File photo EPA/BGNES

Germany's federal prosecutors' office said on Thursday that a German spy has been charged with treason, taking bribes and disclosing official state secrets, AP reported.

The 32-year-old man, identified only as Markus R., allegedly acted as a double agent for the United States and Russia while working for Germany's federal intelligence agency BND. He is accused of giving documents to the CIA that would have revealed details of the BND's work and personnel abroad, harming Germany’s security.

The German spy received at least EUR 95,000 from the CIA for his services, according to the prosecutors.

Markus R. joined BND in December 2007 where he worked until his arrest on 2 July 2014.

Shortly before his arrest Markus R. also offered to work for Russian intelligence and passed to them three documents, again harming Germany's national security, AP said.

He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

The charges against Germany’s ownspy-turned-traitor are just the latest flare-up of tensions between the United States and Germany over foreign-intelligence policy in recent years. The relationship between the two allies became strained following the leaks of secret files by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. The leaks purported to show that the NSA had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

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Tags: Germany, U.S., Russia, BND, spy, federal prosecutors, CIA, Snowden
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