A former Bundeswehr officer from Koblenz is sentenced to three and a half years in prison for espionage. He had passed on information to Russian secret services.

According to information from SWR, a 54-year-old former Bundeswehr captain from Koblenz was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. The judges found that the man worked as a spy for the Russian secret service and broke official secrecy in the process.

The convicted man, who worked in the Bundeswehr’s procurement office in Koblenz, voluntarily forwarded highly sensitive information to Russia since May 2023, according to SWR. The addressees of his messages were the Russian Consulate General in Bonn and the Russian Embassy in Berlin, to whom he suggested cooperation.

In his confession, the man explained that his fears of an escalation of the Ukraine conflict into nuclear war drove him to his actions after he saw a worrying message on social media. His main goal was to protect his family. He said in court that he was driven by fear of a nuclear escalation in the Ukraine war. He now regrets his contact with the Russian side and sees his actions as a mistake.

With its ruling, the court followed the Federal Prosecutor’s Office’s request. The defense had asked for a decision at the court’s discretion. The defendant, who is said to have been in poor mental health, is remorseful.