A German was convicted in Berlin on Thursday for sending the defense attache of the Russian embassy in 2017 a CD-ROM containing 385 files of floor plans of properties used by the German parliament.
Jens F., 56, was employed at the time by a security company under contract with Germany’s lower legislative chamber, the Bundestag.
While the floor plans were not classified, they were also not intended for state or foreign intelligence agencies.
The first criminal senate of the court of appeal, responsible for national security affairs, sentenced Jens F. to two years in prison. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of two years and nine months.
He was also ordered to pay € 15,000 ($ 17,400) to the Treasury within two months of the conviction.
What is Jens F. accused of?
It was alleged that Jens F. had concealed the disc with the plans of the properties used by the Bundestag in the mail with a note marking it of “particular importance”.
It was addressed to the Russian defense attaché, with no return address.
Jens F. was able to obtain the blueprints due to his employment at the time with a security company hired to check electronic devices used in buildings.
The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution intercepted the letter and copied its contents. It is not known whether Jens F. offered his services to Russia or whether he had been ordered to do so by a Russian intelligence official.
At trial, he did not go to court.
Jens F.’s past in question
Previously, Jens F. had been an officer in an East German Army tank division and had also worked informally for the Stasi, the dreaded state security service of then Communist East Germany. Prosecutors argued that due to his past, he intended to pass sensitive information to Russian intelligence services.
The Russian defense attaché in Germany at the time was said to have been a Russian military intelligence officer, known as the GRU.
Friedrich Humke, defense attorney for Jens F., argued that his client should be acquitted as there was no evidence that he had shared the floor plans with the Russians. He also argued that prosecutors built their case on his client’s East German past.
ar / rc (AFP)