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Germany charges alleged spy with treason

By Ed Adamczyk
Germany charges alleged spy with treason
Headquarters of BND, the German intelligence service. Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org/ digitalcourage/ Flickr.

MUNICH, Germany, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- An employee of Germany's intelligence service was charged with treason, among other crimes, for allegedly selling official documents to the CIA.

Identified only as Markus R., 32, a low-level employee of the BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, he was indicted last week on two counts of treason, breach of official secrecy and bribery in Munich's highest regional court; the federal prosecutor's office made the indictment public Thursday.

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He allegedly sold official documents and information to the CIA for at least 95,000 Euros ($106,000) before his arrest in July 2014, and passed agency documents to Russia's consulate in Munich. His actions "raised the risk of a serious disservice for Germany's external security," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

To Germany, the charges are reminders of former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's release of classified material, which indicated the extent of U.S. surveillance of its European allies. The charge of treason reflects an investigation in May by Harald Range, Germany's prosecutor general, of a news website which published alleged state secrets; the probe led to street protests throughout the country and a national debate on citizens' rights to privacy at a time of heightened security concerns.

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