Middle class German couple ‘spied for Russia for 20 years’

Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag appear in court on the first day of their trial

From Matthew Day, Telegraph:  Prosecutors alleged the husband and wife, identified only by their aliases Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, spied on Nato and the European Union in a career that lasted more than two decades , spanning the demise of the old Soviet KGB and the rise of its successor the SVR. The word "anschlag" means attack in German.

So complete was their double life that even their own daughter, according to reports in Germany, was unaware that her parents were spies. . . .

Wolfgang Siegmund, a federal public prosecutor, told the court that the couple had "the mission from SVR headquarters to obtain Nato and EU political and military secrets.

"Particularly also geostrategic findings on the relationship of Nato and the EU with the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia," he added. . . .

The court heard that the couple paid Raymond Valentino Poeteray, a Dutch diplomat, £60,000 for hundreds of documents.

They would then allegedly use an array of elaborate spy techniques, including "dead-letter boxes", under certain trees for example, from where they were picked up by employees of the Russian consulate general in Bonn. . . .

German agents reportedly burst into their home in Meckenheim, according to Der Spiegel magazine, to find Mrs Anschlag crouched over a short-wave radio receiver writing down a secret message.

On the sidelines of the trial, Horst-Dieter Poetschke, the defence lawyer, said the documents in question were "of average quality" and "so, no so-called grave damage occurred" to Germany.   (photo: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty)

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