Retired army officer suspected of spying for Russia detained in Austria

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© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

VIENNA, November 10. /TASS/. A retired colonel of the Austrian army suspected by the country’s authorities of spying for Russia has been detained, the Austrian Press Agency said on Saturday citing Salzburg’s prosecutors investigating the case.

The suspect was detained in Upper Austria and is currently being questioned in a remand center. According to a spokesperson for the Salzburg prosecution, the retired officer had been detained amid fears he might escape.

On Friday, Austria’s authorities that the country’s law enforcement agencies were conducting an investigation into a case of a 70-yeal-old retired Austrian colonel who was suspected of working for Russian intelligence since the 1990s and of providing Moscow with information about Austria’s air force, artillery systems, high-ranking officials and the migrant crisis. If the man is found guilty, he may face a prison term of up to ten years.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said later in the day that Foreign Minister Kneissl had cancelled her visit to Russia and summoned Russian diplomats to clarify the situation over the spying allegations.

In response, Russia’s Foreign Ministry lodged a protest with Austria’s Ambassador to Moscow Johannes Eigner over Vienna’s claims.

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