VIENNA, November 9. /TASS/. Austria’s military counterintelligence service had received information on a retired Austrian colonel suspected of spying for Russia from Germany, the Vienna-based daily Der Standard reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the German special services passed data on an information leak to their Austrian counterparts. 

Austrian Defense Minister Mario Kunasek earlier said that Vienna had received that information from an intelligence agency in an EU member state.

For his part, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz thanked the defense chief for successfully cooperating with the allied special services, which helped Vienna identify that case.

Earlier reports said that Austria’s law enforcement agencies had launched a probe into the activities a 70-year-old retired colonel who had allegedly passed information on the migrant crisis, Austria’s air force and artillery systems to Russia’s military intelligence services since the late 1990s. The Austrian Public Prosecutor’s Office has initiated a criminal case against the retired colonel over working for a foreign military intelligence service. If found guilty, he may face two years behind bars. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Defense Minister Mario Kunasek have confirmed that the espionage probe is underway.

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