Germany charges man with spying for Indian intelligence

Suspect was in regular contact with Germany-based intelligence officer and passed on information, prosecutors say.

Sikh community in Germany
Members of the Sikh community centre in Essen, Western Germany eat on April 21, 2016 [File: Patrik Stollarz/AFP]

German prosecutors have charged an Indian man with spying on the Sikh community and Kashmir activists in Germany for India’s intelligence service for more than two years.

The federal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that espionage charges against the suspect, identified only as Balvir S in line with German privacy rules, were filed at a state court in Frankfurt.

Keep reading

list of 2 itemsend of list

He is accused of agreeing to pass information on Sikhs and the “Kashmir movement” and their relatives to an employee of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, the foreign intelligence agency of India, on or before January 2015.

According to prosecutors, the suspect was in regular telephone and personal contact with the Germany-based intelligence officer and passed on information “in numerous cases” until December 2017.

They did not specify whether he is in custody.

“He allegedly provided information about figures in the Sikh opposition scene and the Kashmiri movement and their relatives in Germany, and passed this on to his handlers who were working at the Indian consulate general in Frankfurt,” the higher regional court in the city said in a statement earlier this week.

The trial will open on August 25.

The same Frankfurt court convicted an Indian couple for spying on the same communities last December. The husband was handed a suspended prison sentence of 18 months for acting as a foreign intelligence agent and his wife was fined 180 days’ wages for aiding him.

India and Pakistan have disputed Kashmir since they became independent and split in 1947, with the nuclear rivals fighting two out of three wars over the region.

Tens of thousands of people have died in battles waged since 1989.

Source: News Agencies