3 Jul 2013

Spy couple in Germany sentenced to prison

10:09 am on 3 July 2013

A couple living in Germany has been sentenced to prison after being found guilty of spying for Russia for the past 20 years.

The couple, codenamed Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, reportedly settled in former West Germany on false passports some 25 years ago.

A court in Stuttgart gave Andreas Anschlag six years and six months and Heidrun five years and six months.

The BBC reports they were arrested at their home in the western town of Marburg, in October 2011 after they assisted a Dutch spy.

Police think the couple's names, used in their Austrian passports, were false. They are believed to be Russian and in their early to mid-50s.

They acted as a conduit for a Dutch foreign ministry official with access to NATO secrets, who was unmasked and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

His arrest led to the couple, who had transmitted secrets to Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR.

Prosecutors said they posed as Austrian citizens of South American origin after arriving in Germany in 1988 and 1990.