Europe

Russian spy Raymond Poeteray jailed by Dutch

Andreas (left) and Heidrun Anschlag arrive at court in Stuttgart, Germany, 15 January 2013
Image caption A couple in Germany are on trial in connection with the case

A former Dutch foreign ministry worker has been jailed for 12 years for passing hundreds of sensitive political and military documents to Russia.

The 61-year-old spy, Raymond Poeteray, passed on documents which included details of Nato activity in Libya.

Poeteray was found guilty of passing information to a couple in Germany, who are also on trial accused of being Russian agents.

The Dutch court said Poeteray had acted "purely out of financial interest".

The documents also included sensitive political and military information on Nato and EU activity in Afghanistan and Georgia, reports the AFP news agency.

"The court rules as proven that he passed confidential documents to the Russian Federation for years at the request of the Russian intelligence service" the court in The Hague said in a statement.

'Luxurious lifestyle'

Judges said that Poeteray had "perturbed and undermined the interests of the Netherlands and its allies".

Poeteray was paid at least 72,000 euros (£61,000) between January 2009 and August 2011, the court said. He acted to "pay off his debts and allow him a certain lifestyle".

Poeteray was arrested in March 2012 in connection with an ongoing case in Germany. Officials found four USB sticks on him containing sensitive information in a glasses case.

The spotlight fell on Poeteray after German police raided the home of a married Russian couple living in the German city of Marburg, reports AFP.

The couple, who call themselves Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, are on trial for allegedly compiling Poeteray's information and sending it to Russia's intelligence agency.

Poeteray had pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyer said he only wanted to help the couple find a home, reports AFP.

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