Colonel of the Austrian army, was jailed for espionage in favor of Russia

Полковника австрийской армии посадили за шпионаж в пользу России

The court in Salzburg has sentenced 71-year-old Martin. M. to three years in prison for espionage and transfer of information constituting a military secret.

The trial was held behind closed doors. The identity of the retired officer is not disclosed.

According to the investigation, a former Colonel in for a minimum of 25 years passed the Russian military intelligence (GRU) the x-files and got it for 280 thousand euros.

According to the lawyer, the accused admitted that Russia transferred some of this information but argues that he received them exclusively from open sources, and compared their work with the work of a correspondent abroad. He acknowledged that he had received 220 thousand euros.

As a former Colonel was arrested in November of 2018 and, thus, spent more than half of the term, he was released in the courtroom.

In the summer of 2019 Austria declared internationally wanted citizen of Russia suspected of working for the GRU. According to Austrian police, 65-year-old native of Moscow Igor Zaitsev received information including from recruited the Colonel of the Austrian army, retired Martin M.

Moscow denies involvement Zaitsev to espionage.

Because of this incident, the then Minister for foreign Affairs of Austria Karin Kneissl has canceled a trip to Russia. Held the post of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the activities of Russia are unacceptable.