German spy agency employee charged with leaking secrets to Russia

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An employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency remains in custody Thursday after being accused of leaking classified information to Russia.

Federal prosecutors this week identified the suspect as Carsten L., who worked for Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

BND officials said the agency was cooperating with prosecutors and noted that at least two offices at the agency’s Berlin headquarters were searched as part of the investigation.

“After the BND became aware of a possible case of treason within its own ranks in the course of its intelligence work, the BND immediately launched extensive international investigations,” the agency said in a statement to the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “When these substantiated the suspicion, the federal attorney general was immediately called in.”

German officials did not release further details about what sort of information the employee was suspected of leaking to Moscow.

It was the first time a BND employee was accused of spying for another country since 2014 when a spy identified as Markus R. was charged with leaking information to the Central Intelligence Agency. He was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to eight years in prison.

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