The military was spying on 20 years.
The Ministry of defence of Austria has exposed the 70-year-old army Colonel, retired, suspected of espionage in favor of Russia, said the newspaper Krone Zeitung. Ministry spokesman Michael Bauer confirmed this information, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to ghall.com.ua.
A retired military man, whose name was not disclosed, began working for Russian military intelligence in the 1990-ies and during this time received a remuneration of 300 thousand euros, Krone Zeitung reported. According to the newspaper, Austria was able to detain the spy, thanks to the help of “friendly” foreign intelligence agencies.
During the arrest, he seized a laptop which is now studied by experts. Against the Colonel opened a criminal case under article 319 of the criminal code of Austria (the military intelligence service in the interests of a foreign state), the maximum penalty is two years in prison.
The suspect in the spying was a “invisible post” at the headquarters of the Austrian army, according to Krone Zeitung. Every two weeks he’s been in touch with my Advisor from Russia named Yuri. In encrypted emails or via satellite, the Colonel passed on information about military aircraft and artillery systems of Austria, as well as about the situation of migrants in the country.
In addition, he collected a detailed dossier on many high-ranking officers. In 2006, the Colonel tried to opt out of further intelligence activities, but Russian intelligence had convinced him to continue. When Russia found out that the spy is probably uncovered, he was ordered to destroy all materials. The suspect was detained before he managed to do it. The Minister of defence of Austria Mario Kunasek called unacceptable espionage against a neutral country.
“This case proves that after the cold war a neutral state are the target of espionage,” he said.
The Minister intends to cause the military attache of Russia in Austria. The case of espionage, foreign Minister of Austria Karin Kneissl canceled a visit to Russia, which is planned for 2-3 December, said Federal Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz. According to him, Vienna is not going to recall its Ambassador from Russia, but the incident will not improve relations between Russia and the EU. The Chancellor promised to discuss the case of espionage with international partners.