German translator freed in China spy trial

16th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2004 , KOBLENZ - A German-born woman walked free from a German court on Thursday after being given a one-year suspended sentence for attempting to sell operating manuals from a top-secret submarine to China. Michaela T., 43, arranged to meet in a bar in Canada with a man she thought was a Chinese military spy. But in reality he was a Canadian secret agent. She was arrested on a home visit to Germany. Prosecutor Wolf-Dieter Dietrich said he would be inquiring as to why a company working on elect

16 December 2004

KOBLENZ - A German-born woman walked free from a German court on Thursday after being given a one-year suspended sentence for attempting to sell operating manuals from a top-secret submarine to China.

Michaela T., 43, arranged to meet in a bar in Canada with a man she thought was a Chinese military spy. But in reality he was a Canadian secret agent. She was arrested on a home visit to Germany.

Prosecutor Wolf-Dieter Dietrich said he would be inquiring as to why a company working on electronics for weapons had sent her the manuals to translate into English. "We don't want a blunder like this in future," he said.

T., whose full name was withheld under German journalistic ethics guidelines, is a freelance translator with US citizenship.

State superior court judges said at the end of the two-day trial, where the public had to troop out of the courtroom when the manual was discussed, that it was a case of attempted treason "in the lower range".

Even if China had obtained the manuals, the harm would have been limited.

Both sides said they would accept the ruling and not appeal.

T.'s lawyer said she admitted phoning the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and offering to sell documents on the crack Type 212A submarine. The Canadian agent met her in a bar and she agreed to sell the manuals for about USD 85,000 (EUR 64,000).

The torpedo-armed 212A, designed by shipyard HDW, is the world's first series submarine with a fuel-cell propulsion system.

It is said to have all the benefits of nuclear power with none of the disadvantages. The vessel can operate submerged for several weeks at a time, with no noise or heat from exhaust fumes that could give it away to sub-hunters.

DPA

Subject: German news 
 

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