German-Italian woman charged with spying for China

BERLIN (AP) — A German-Italian woman has been charged with espionage on suspicion of being an informant for Chinese intelligence for several years, German prosecutors said Monday.

Federal prosecutors say Klara K. is the wife of another suspect, Dr. Klaus L., who was arrested on suspicion of espionage last month following an indictment that they filed at a Munich court in May. The indictment against Klara K. was also filed in May, prosecutors said Monday. The full names of both suspects were withheld in line with German privacy rules.

The indictment for Klara K. says she is accused of supporting her husband’s alleged spying activities since 2010.

Klaus L. is a political scientist and had run a think tank since 2001. According to prosecutors, employees of a Chinese intelligence service contacted the couple when they went on a lecture trip to Shanghai in June 2010.

The couple is accused of regularly passing information to Chinese intelligence ahead of or after state visits or multinational conferences until November 2019. That information, prosecutors said, came primarily from “high-ranking political interlocutors” they were in contact with due to their work for the think tank.

Prosecutors allege that the trips to meetings with Chinese intelligence employees were paid for and that the couple also received a fee.

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