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Former German intelligence officer denies espionage charges for Russia

Former German intelligence officer denies espionage charges for Russia
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 17, 2024 6:46 PM

Former German intelligence officer Carsten Linke denies allegations of espionage for Russia, arguing he recruited Arthur Eller as a potential source for Germany’s BND foreign intelligence

A former German intelligence officer, Carsten Linke, took a stand on Wednesday, vehemently denying allegations of espionage for Russia.

Linke asserted that rather than spying, he had attempted to recruit his co-defendant, Arthur Eller, as a potential source for Germany’s BND foreign intelligence.

According to the prosecution, Linke and Eller conspired with a Russian businessman to steal confidential data from the BND and give it to the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Russia. Linke, however, offered an alternative story, saying he had met Eller through a common contact and offered to provide information to the BND.

According to Linke, Eller’s activities and connections in Africa, along with his prominent contacts in the area, made him a desirable target for recruitment.

According to him, Eller fit the profile that the intelligence services were looking for.

Eller allegedly disclosed the existence of a source in the Russian security services who was well-versed in Russian espionage operations at Western embassies in Moscow while on a visit to a brothel in Berlin.

Given his involvement in looking into anomalies at the German embassy in the Russian capital, Linke indicated an interest in this intelligence.

Prosecutors assert that, in contrast to Linke’s assertions, he sent information to the Russian intelligence services via Eller.

Eller is accused of transporting nine internal BND files to Moscow and giving them to the FSB after Linke allegedly sent Eller physical or digital copies of the information. 

The prosecution contends that Linke received at least 450,000 euros ($478,750) from the FSB, while Eller received at least 400,000 euros for their services.

The information purportedly transmitted to Moscow pertained to the activities of the Wagner paramilitary group, including insights gleaned from a messaging app accessed by the BND.

The trial, described as highly sensitive, is being conducted under strict security measures, with specific sessions closed to the public to prevent leaks. Linke and Eller are facing charges of high treason, carrying the possibility of life imprisonment if convicted.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:41 PM