Austrian Counterintelligence Agent Suspected Of Leaking State Secrets To Russia: Report

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Austrian Counterintelligence Agent Suspected Of Leaking State Secrets To Russia: Report

AP Photo/Ronald Zak

The news agency TASS reports (source):

Austrian Public Prosecutor’s Office for Combatting Economic Crimes and Corruption has launched an investigation against a counterintelligence agent, who is suspected of leaking state secrets to Russia, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the staff member of the Austrian intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism, had shared secret data with the Russian intelligence. The man faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty. The investigation was opened a year ago, the newspaper said.

The Russian Embassy in Austria has declined to comment on the media reports.

This is the second such case in Austria over the past few days. On November 9, Austria’s authorities said that the country’s law enforcement agencies were conducting an investigation into a case of a 70-year-old retired Austrian colonel who was suspected of working for Russian intelligence since the 1990s and of providing Moscow with information about Austria’s air force, artillery systems, high-ranking officials and the migrant crisis. If the man is found guilty, he may face a prison term of up to ten years. The retired colonel has been detained and is being interrogated.

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said on Saturday after her phone talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Vienna expects that Moscow would cooperate in full over the case of a retired Austrian officer suspected of spying for Moscow. Kneissl rejected Russian accusations that Austria was doing megaphone diplomacy saying that the Austrian government’s steps were based on clear facts. Espionage was inadmissible interference in Austria’s domestic affairs, she warned.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow underscored “inadmissibility of the practice, which runs counter to norms of international communication, of making evidence-free accusations public.”

Austrian President and Commander in Chief Alexander Van der Bellen warned against stirring up tensions and called on the sides to wait until the investigation ended.

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  • You can call me Al

    I know this is a daft question, but why are Russians both a Colonial and a member of the Austrian intelligence agency ?.

  • AM Hants

    Every nation has spies. Why the hysteria?

    • Jens Holm

      It has become too much. Then all try ro strike back.

  • Tommy Jensen

    The spy told Russia about EU´s sensitive refugee problems. This is HUGE folks and can jeopardize the entire NATO system, the Atlantic Councel and all EU offices in Brussel.

    • Jens Holm

      Austria is no nato member.

  • 1691

    Someone is trying to get Austria back “in line”. This “song” is becoming a hit, first in Holland, then Denmark, now Austria. I see a pattern here, not a piece of news. I won’t be surprised when something similar comes out from Italy. Every government displaying some common sense is bound to be reshaped by CIA.