GERMAN CHARGED AFTER LEAKING BUNDESTAG PLANS TO RUSSIAN SPY
A German man has been charged with spying for Russia after he allegedly passed on floor plans for the Berlin parliament to a Russian intelligence agent, Rachel More and Christian Thiele reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Identified by the attorney general only as Jens F, the man had worked for a company that repeatedly carried out work on behalf of the Bundestag, the seat of German parliament, inspecting electrical devices used in the building.
This gave him access to PDF files of the floor plans, which he sent to an employee of the Russian embassy in Berlin who worked for the GRU military intelligence agency, the attorney general said in a statement.
"In the period of late July 2017 until early September 2017 at the latest, the accused decided on his own initiative to hand over information about the properties of the German Bundestag to Russian intelligence services," the statement added.
Jens F is to appear before a special court in Berlin for prosecuting crimes against the state on suspicion of intelligence agent activity.
A spokesman for the attorney general in Karlsruhe said the 55-year-old suspect has not been taken into custody and that he was not considered a flight risk.
The case adds to a list of alleged interference that has battered Berlin's already-strained relations with Moscow.
In 2015, the Bundestag was hacked in a cyberattack which Germany blames on Russian state actors.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose own offices were targeted in the attack, excoriated Russia's "outrageous" behavior in a speech to parliament last May, citing "hard evidence" of the country's involvement and accusing it of "hybrid warfare."