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The trial against Carsten L. begins: Alleged Putin’s agent: Trial terrifies the BND

Carsten L. from Upper Bavaria was the typical respectable citizen. He enjoyed military music, German hits from the 80s and hearty meals. Among the young footballers of TSV Weilheim, the 52-year-old colonel of the Bundeswehr was considered a strict and demanding coach – his motto: Tough but fair.

Before the 6th Criminal Senate of the Berlin Chamber Court, the largest espionage trial of the past 25 years is now about justice: Carsten L. and his alleged accomplice, diamond dealer Arthur E., 32, are accused of selling state secrets of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Russian intelligence service FSB.

Officer L., who switched to the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) as a department head in 2007, as well as the merchant E., born in Volgograd, are said to have received 450,000 and 400,000 euros in agent fees. If convicted of treason in an especially grave case, they face life imprisonment.

BND employee accused – he allegedly pressured accomplice in a message

So far, the public knows little about what Carsten L. exactly learned during his military and German foreign intelligence service training. Secret message transmission and recruitment of human sources were certainly part of it. Allegedly, L. has applied these skills in the Berlin-Moabit prison. According to secure FOCUS-online information, he was served an additional arrest warrant for tampering with evidence on December 5th.

Lisa Jani, spokesperson for the Berlin criminal courts, remained in the subjunctive mood a day before the start of the trial: “According to the court’s findings, the defendants may have had contact in the remand prison despite the imposed restrictions.” The new arrest warrant is expected to be announced at the start of the trial, which is estimated to last around 50 hearing days.

The accusation: L. allegedly pressured his alleged accomplice E. in a smuggled message and urged him to retract his confession deposited at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The suspected traitor’s calculation seems to be that this could significantly weaken the charge.

BND agent accused: Access data to communication systems in Moscow in high demand

The former intelligence officer, who had access to international communication via telephone, internet, and satellite as head of radio espionage, allegedly plays the main role in diamond dealer E.’s version: Carsten L., who is said to have stood out to his colleague only through racist jokes, procured the coveted material at the BND branch in Pullach near Munich. This included classified files on projects and developments for technical information gathering as well as insights into Russian radio reconnaissance.

In Moscow, access data to the encrypted radio of the mercenary leader Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigogine, who died in a mysterious plane crash on August 23 this year, were certainly in high demand. What Carsten L. couldn’t physically take with him in files, he is said to have photographed on the screen.

Arthur E., who jet-setted across the world as a diamond dealer, handed over the hot material to two FSB agent leaders in Moscow. This way, the Russian intelligence service learned the extent to which the BND had penetrated Moscow’s communication systems.

Will the accomplice retract his confession? Judicial insiders do not expect so

It was, once again, a foreign intelligence service that was able to hack into Moscow’s computers and discovered the spoils procured by the BND in the records. After a brief shock phase, BND President Bruno Kahl launched a search for the mole and exposed him

In the most sensitive briefing of the intelligence agency, the presumed traitor is being targeted. After all, international services have already expressed concern and inquired anxiously whether their exchanged source reports are still secure at the BND.

Whether Arthur E. will revoke his confession deposited at the BKA at the request of Carsten L. will only become apparent during the trial – Justice insiders do not expect this. Former Karlsruhe federal prosecutor Joachim Lampe, who had prosecuted numerous spies, says: “A chamber court will not be swayed by such a revocation.”

Several foreign reporters are accredited for the trial, including those from Russia. However, no one knows whether the chamber court will classify parts of the trial, such as the reading of the indictment, as confidential and therefore non-public.

This would not only be welcomed by the BND, but surely also by the American, British, and French intelligence services. “Naturally, we do not want,” said a BND official to FOCUS online, “our working methods to be readable in every tabloid.”



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