Germany charges govt press officer with spying for Egypt

Germany charges govt press officer with spying for Egypt

Monday, November 16, 2020 9:20 pm

An Egyptian-born German citizen who works for the official government press office is to be formally charged with spying for Egypt, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

The unnamed man, who is alleged to have worked for the Egyptian intelligence services for years, is set to be tried in Berlin.

Germany’s domestic intelligence services announced in their annual report in July that they had been investigating the 66-year-old man since December, when his home was searched.

He has not been detained.

According to the federal prosecutors, the man worked for the German government’s Federal Press Office from 1999.

His work for Egypt’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) dates back to at least July 2010, after he was recruited by the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.

Prosecutors do not believe the man, a middle-ranking civil servant, ever had access to secret government information.

Instead, he allegedly evaluated German media reports on Egypt, making use of the facilities available to him at the press office.

He is also alleged to have provided the GIS with a possible source, although an attempt at recruitment in period 2014 to 2015 failed to produce results.

In return he anticipated favourable treatment from the Egyptian authorities.

His superior in Egypt assisted the man’s mother with applying for her pension. He was also invited to official receptions. (dpa/NAN)

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