Federal Prosecutor’s Office Charges: Was a BND Employee Spying for China?

Federal Prosecutor's Office Charges: Was a BND Employee Spying for China?

EXCLUSIVE

As of: 07/06/2021 5:03 am

Officially he worked for a foundation, but spied for BND. Now, according to the information received from ARD Capital Studio The 75-year-old was accused of allegedly spying for China.

by Michael Gottschenberg,
ARD Capital Studio

Klaus L. He had just returned from a stay in Italy, when the police arrested him standing in front of the door of his apartment. The federal prosecutor accused El of spying for the Chinese Secret Service and, according to information from ARD Capital Studio Allegations of acting as a Secret Service agent have now been brought before the Munich High Regional Court.

Michael Gottschenberg
ARD Capital Studio

on the way to macau

The matter is complicated: L spied not only for the Chinese, but also for the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) for decades. learned that ARD Capital Studio From security circles. Especially spicy: L led a double life. A public as an employee of the Hans Seidel Foundation belonging to the CSU and a secret as an informant for the BND. ARD Capital Studio The case was uncovered after federal prosecutors searched L’s house in June last year.

On November 23, 2019, investigators were at L’s doorstep and produced a search warrant. L. And his wife was on the way to Munich airport. It was no coincidence that investigators struck that morning: ARD Capital Studio The couple wanted to travel from Munich to Macau to meet their Chinese commanding officers. Investigators turned the house upside down, searched the luggage and confiscated loads of data carriers and computers.

The fact that the now 75-year-old is only now being charged makes it clear how difficult the matter is. Since L. Was spying for the Chinese, so he shouldn’t have denied it to investigators. In form of ARD Capital Studio Turns out, he claimed to have reported his contacts with the Chinese to BND – at least initially.

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BND. 50 years in the service of

L. His life was closely associated with BND for many years. for at least 50 years. was listed as an “intelligence association” by the German Foreign Intelligence Service. That is, L. informed BND and was paid for it.

L. Went in and out of Pulach near Munich, where the BND was headquartered until a few years ago. He had excellent contacts up to the BND Management level. The professional contacts that L made during his professional career were clearly very important to the service.

Contact through foundation work

according to information ARD Capital Studio L. started in the early 1980s at the CSU-affiliated Hans Seidl Foundation. His job enabled him to make several, sometimes longer, official stays abroad, sometimes as a guest lecturer, for example in the former Soviet Union and later in Russia, the Balkans, South Africa and South Asia. .

When L. Retired, he headed the Foundation’s Department of International Security Policy. After that ARD Capital Studio first reported the case, the foundation distanced itself and insisted it had “no knowledge” of the events.

spying even after retirement

For L, however, his work for BND did not end with his retirement. Service ardRather, research continued through other means. L. He became director of a specially established “Institute for Transnational Studies”, a kind of think tank he ran from his home in Landshut, but above all in a property in South Tyrol that also had seminar rooms.

BND is said to always sit at tables at events with international speakers and “skimmed” the guests, as they say. BND does not wish to answer whether the institute was a covered institution of the service or not. Otherwise, the service does not want to provide any information about which connection L. had with BND. He merely states that he does not comment on operational issues.

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according to information ARD Capital Studio For his first contact with the Chinese Secret Service when El was at Tongji University in Shanghai. L. He was about to retire at that time. L. told investigators that he had reported the recruitment attempt to BND; The service even encouraged them to get involved. According to the motto: let’s see what they want.

Was China aware of relations with BND?

Over time, it appears that El has said nothing more about his contacts with the Chinese. Eventually, his Chinese command officers equipped him with the technology to transmit encrypted information. What was its value and L. What the U.S. gave to the Chinese is likely to be controversial and subject to negotiations before the Munich High Regional Court.

It is not clear whether the Chinese service was aware of L’s link to BND. However, he is said to not have disclosed any BND internals. Originally the Chinese are said to have presented L.A. at the Uighur World Congress. which has a seat in Munich. But he shouldn’t have allowed himself into it.

immediate suspicion

In addition, the court will also deal with what El received from the Chinese for his work. according to information ARD Capital Studio It was mainly about travel expenses and a fee. How the court will evaluate the L case remains to be seen.

Investigators apparently found this difficult after the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution noted El and his China contacts. At least a long time had elapsed before the indictment was brought. Investigators justify the fact that L must now be in custody by saying that he is an immediate suspect and is at risk of escape.

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A network that appealed to China

In many ways the case is exemplary of the actions of the Chinese Secret Service: L had a fairly professional, international network that was undoubtedly of interest to the Chinese. At the same time, he was at the end of his professional career but still full of energy, which could make people more receptive to recruitment efforts.

In security circles, it is said that human sources in politics, culture, business and science are still part of the tools of the Chinese Secret Service, in addition to cyber attacks. Often the affected people are not even clear initially what it is about. And sometimes it’s not about the money at all, but much more about the attention and appreciation. With Klaus L. it was probably about the same. However, there is no question that he knew who he was dealing with.

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