Austrian ex-colonel accused of espionage for Russian Federation
In case of proof of his guilt, the suspect faces up to 10 years in prison
A retired Austrian army colonel has been accused of spying for the Russian Federation for at least 25 years. This is reported by RFE.
“On November 8, prosecutors in Salzburg stated that the 71-year-old man, whose name was Martin M., allegedly worked in the Russian military intelligence (GRU) since 1993, providing it with detailed information about the Austrian weapons systems and military data,” reads the message.
The prosecutor said the investigation revealed the integration of a man into a structured state agent network.
The statement also notes that the officer received hundreds of thousands of euros in exchange for his services, which he continued even after retirement.
The man was detained last year after Austrian authorities caught him while receiving money from his alleged handling officer.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the time that he knew “nothing about the issue.”
Austria is one of the few European countries that has maintained close diplomatic contacts with Moscow — despite Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and even after the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain which London has blamed on the Kremlin. It was previously reported that Poland’s internal security agency detained a man suspected of spying for Russia.
According to the press secretary of the secretary-minister for special services Stanislav Zharin, investigators gathered evidence of the detainee’s cooperation with Russian intelligence.