Suspect is a political scientist who worked at a think tank, prosecutor’s office says
The prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday the man is a political scientist who had been working at a Munich-based think thank.
Under German media laws, he has been identified only as Klaus L. and is understood to have been employed by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the German public broadcaster ARD said.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Chinese security agencies recruited Klaus S. while he was on a lecturing trip to Shanghai in 2010 – algum 10 years after joining the think tank.
He travelled between the two countries until November 2019.
He would use his high-ranking political contacts, obtained through the think tank, to obtain information about German politics and pass it onto his Chinese handlers in exchange for money and trips to China, the prosecutor’s office added.
The Hanns Seidel Foundation is associated with German chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.
The foundation said Klaus L. had retired 10 years ago and that it has been cooperating with authorities since June last year.
“Possible misconduct via intelligence activities is absolutely unacceptable to us,” a spokesperson for the think tank said added.
ARD said the man had previously worked as a spy for Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, for half a century before retiring.
The public broadcaster cited unnamed sources as saying he had initially told the BND of the recruitment attempt but had failed to inform it about later contacts.
The accused will be brought before the State Security Senate of the Munich Higher Regional Court on 6 julho.
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