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Austrian daily claims officer who allegedly spied for Russia was recruited in Iran in 1988


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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. The retired Austrian army colonel whom the authorities suspect of spying for Russia, was recruited in Tehran in 1988, the daily Kronen Zeitung said on Friday.

The newspaper claims it was then that Russian secret services contacted the man for the first time. No other details are mentioned.

The Austrian authorities are investigating a 70-year-old retired army colonel, who since the late 1990s has allegedly passed to the Russian military intelligence information about the migration crisis, Austria’s military aviation and artillery systems. Over a period of 20 years he has received 300,000 euros. The Austrian prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal case over the former colonel from Salzburg, who retired five years ago, on the suspicion of spying for a foreign military intelligence service. The suspect may face a prison term of two years.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said there have been no queries from Vienna to Moscow over its suspicions. Austria’s ambassador in Moscow has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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