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Germany Expels U.S. Diplomat Reportedly Accused of Espionage

March 09, 1997| From Times Wire Services

BONN — A CIA employee posted as a U.S. diplomat in Germany has been expelled after being accused of spying, a newsmagazine said Saturday, adding that the incident between the two close allies was unprecedented.

The diplomat tried to recruit a senior official in the German Economics Ministry and obtain information about high-technology projects, according to Der Spiegel, a respected newsmagazine that is published weekly.

The official revealed the plan to Germany's counterespionage agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which demanded that the diplomat leave the country, the report said.

Der Spiegel did not identify the diplomat, who it said had left Germany.

U.S. Embassy officials in Bonn had no comment Saturday.

Der Spiegel said government officials have briefed parliament's intelligence committee on the case.

A committee member, Willfried Penner, said he could neither confirm nor deny the report. But he indicated that Germany was increasingly upset about economic espionage by the intelligence services of other Western nations.

"No reasonable person will deny that friendly nations are also spying on us," he said. "That includes tricks by American intelligence."

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