Russian physicist suspected of spying in Germany: report
A Russian physicist who worked for a top German research institute is suspected of spying for Moscow between 2009 and 2011, according to a report in German weekly Der Spiegel to be published Saturday.
The 28-year-old specialised in quantum optics and nanophotonics — used to make high-powered computers — and worked for the Max Planck Institute for several months between 2009 and 2011.
Der Spiegel says the man identified as Ivan A. transmitted confidential research results to the Russian secret services during that time.
German intelligence officials fell on the researcher’s trail after monitoring a Russian diplomat who worked in the consulate in Bonn in the west of Germany, and who met Ivan A. every month, according to the weekly.
German intelligence officials identified the diplomat as an officer of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.
Contacted by AFP, the federal prosecutor cited in Der Spiegel as heading the investigation did not comment on the case.
This would not be the first time that the scientist has faced trouble with German authorities.
According to the weekly, the scientist was briefly detained and questioned last year at Duesseldorf airport. At the time, he worked for the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
In October 2011, German authorities arrested a Russian couple accused of spying after police caught the woman listening to encrypted messages on a transmitter.
The wife was released in November of last year before returning to Russia, and her husband was deported in early June.