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(The Globe and Mail)

Dutch civil servant who spied for Russia jailed for 12 years Add to ...

A deeply indebted Dutch civil servant was paid more than 72,200 euros to spy for Russia for more than two years, handing over information in monthly meetings, prosecutors said on Monday.

Prosecutors said the civil servant supplied politically and militarily sensitive information on NATO and the European Union to his Russian handlers, a married couple arrested in Germany in 2011.

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The man, who has not been named, has been convicted of violating state secrets, official corruption and money laundering. He was sentenced to 12 years, but prosecutors are demanding that be increased to 15 years in view of the gravity of his crimes.

The man lived in The Hague and worked in the foreign ministry’s visa affairs department, while operating for the Russian couple under the codename “BR”.

The court has ordered that the money he received be confiscated.

Prosecutors said he would pass information to the couple during meetings that came on average once a month. On each occasion he would be given thousands of euros in payment.

“The suspect betrayed his country for monetary gain,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

“He sold intelligence to the Russian Federation over a long period ... a long prison term is the appropriate punishment.”

The official’s activities came to light after German police arrested his handlers in the German city of Marburg in 2011. The official was arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport shortly afterwards as he was preparing to leave on a business trip.

The female Russian handler was caught red-handed when police burst in, with a shortwave transmitter hooked up to a laptop on which she was receiving instructions from Moscow, the prosecutors’ office said.

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