Two Russians have gone on trial in Germany accused of spying for Moscow in what’s described as the first case of its kind since the end of the Cold War.
The married couple had allegedly been operating there for more than 20 years after arriving using fake Austrian passports.
Prosecutors claim the couple were responsible for collecting political and military intelligence about the EU and NATO.
“Our difficulty is that the two accused were already preparing their return to Russia and that we could not find many documents up until 2008 because a lot of them have been destroyed,” said Rolf Hannich, Federal State Prosecutor.
The couple were arrested at their home in Marburg in central Germany in 2011.
They’d been living a low-profile life, apparently earning a joint salary of around 100,000 euros.
German media reports suggest that the husband was receiving radio messages from Moscow when they were apprehended.
They could each face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.