Germany sentences couple convicted of spying for Russia

STUTTGART, Germany, July 2 (UPI) -- A husband and wife found guilty of spying for Russia have been sentenced to more than five years in prison by a court in Germany.

Prosecutors wanted longer prison sentences for Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag but a Stuttgart court settled on 6 ½ years for Andreas and 5 ½ years for Heidrun, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.


In addition to the prison terms, the court seized the couple's property and ordered them to pay a fine of $650,000.

Anschlag, 54, and his 48-year-old wife were arrested in Germany in October 2011 on charges of "secret agent activity" and "forgery of documents," prosecutors said.

Russia has not confirmed that they were agents but trial documents indicate Moscow provided them with consular assistance.

The couple spoke with Eastern European accents and arrived in Germany between 1988 and 1990.

They said they were born in South America but raised in Austria.

A German newspaper reported their mission was to recruit and handle other Russian agents and that they passed sensitive information on European Union and NATO plans to Moscow.

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