14 April 2004
KOBLENZ – A Hungarian-born doctor went on trial before a court in Germany Wednesday on charges of espionage for funneling thousands of US military documents to Budapest in the Cold War.
Sandor Kersok, a naturalized Swede, has already served time in a Swedish prison on an espionage conviction.
Kersok was detained at Frankfurt airport in February in connection with the charges, dating back nearly 30 years.
He and another Hungarian doctor, Imre Kercsik, served as couriers for convicted spy Clyde Lee Conrad, starting in 1975, according to federal prosecutors in Germany.
Conrad was a US Army sergeant who had worked as an administrator at secret archives in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, the home of US Army V Corp’s 8th Infantry Division.
From 1976 to 1985, Conrad and his couriers smuggled some 30,000 classified documents from the division’s headquarters and sent them to Budapest.
Though Conrad retired in 1985, he continued to live in Europe, married to a German national. He also continued to funnel classified information to Hungary gleaned from other contacts.
In 1989 Conrad was charged with treason under west German law. It took more than a year to charge him formally due to the complexity of the case which initially was declared one of espionage and then broadened to include the more serious charge of treason.
Tried in a west German court, Conrad was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1990. In January 1998 Conrad died in a German prison of heart failure.
Both Kersok and Kercsik have served 18-month prison terms in Sweden.
Subject: German news