Espionage in Germany: A far-right party aide arrested in an espionage investigation in China

  • Written by Jessica Parker in Berlin and Paul Kirby in London
  • BBC News

Image source, Clemence Bellan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Comment on the photo, The latest arrest comes after three suspects were arrested in a separate case on Monday

The Public Prosecution arrested a man working for a far-right politician on suspicion of spying for China.

They identified the man as Jian Ji, 43, who German media reported was an assistant to Alternative for Germany (AfD) MEP and European election candidate Maximilian Krah.

Prosecutors say he was arrested in the eastern city of Dresden. They claim that he passed information about the European Parliament to Chinese intelligence.

Jian Jie is also suspected of spying on Chinese opposition figures in Germany.

Mr. Krah said he learned of his assistant's arrest from the press, and that if the allegations turned out to be true his employment would be terminated immediately.

“Spying for a foreign country is a serious accusation,” his statement said.

An AfD spokesperson added that reports of “the arrest of one of Mr Krah's employees on suspicion of espionage are extremely worrying”, and that they were awaiting further investigation by the public prosecutor.

Interior Minister Nancy Viser said the allegations were very serious: “If it is confirmed that someone spied for China in the European Parliament, this is an insider attack on European democracy.”

China's Foreign Ministry rejected the arrest, calling it speculation aimed at “smearing and suppressing China.”

Jian Jie is scheduled to appear before an investigating judge later on Tuesday.

His arrest comes a day after two men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of spying for China, by obtaining information in Germany about China's military technology. The latest case is not believed to be related.

The main suspect in this case allegedly ran a front company working with German research organizations while spying for China's Ministry of State Security (MSS). Thomas R. allegedly obtained “innovative technologies for military use” on behalf of an MSS employee.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz returned days ago from an important visit to Beijing, where he held talks with President Xi Jinping on issues including Russia's war in Ukraine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *