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Aide to German MEP arrested on suspicion of spying for China

By AFP

April 23, 2024 01:19 PM


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An aide to a German far-right politician standing in June's European Union elections has been arrested on suspicion of spying for China, German prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The man, named only as Jian G., stands accused of sharing information about negotiations at European Parliament with a Chinese intelligence service and of spying on Chinese opposition figures in Germany, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

On the website of the European Parliament, Jian Guo is listed as an accredited assistant to MEP Maximilian Krah, the far-right AfD party's lead candidate in the forthcoming EU-wide elections.

He is a German national who has reportedly worked as an aide to Krah in Brussels since 2019.

The suspect "is an employee of a Chinese secret service", prosecutors said.

"In January 2024, the accused repeatedly passed on information about negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament to his intelligence service client.

"He also spied on Chinese opposition members in Germany for the intelligence service."

The suspect was arrested in the eastern German city of Dresden on Monday and his homes were searched, they added.

The accused lives in both Dresden and Brussels, according to broadcasters ARD, RBB and SWR, who broke the news about the arrest.

The AfD said the allegations were "very disturbing".

"As we have no further information on the case, we must wait for further investigations by federal prosecutors," party spokesman Michael Pfalzgraf said in a statement.

The case is likely to fuel concern in the West about aggressive Chinese espionage.

It comes after Germany on Monday arrested three German nationals suspected of spying for China by providing access to secret maritime technology.

China's embassy in Berlin "firmly" rejected the allegations, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

According to German media, the two cases are not connected.

In Britain on Monday, two men were charged with handing over "articles, notes, documents or information" to China between 2021 and last year.

Police named the men as Christopher Berry, 32, and Christoper Cash, 29, who previously worked at the UK parliament as a researcher.


AFP


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