Germany has indicted an alleged Egyptian-German spy working for the press service of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The suspect, named Amin K, is accused of transmitting "information to the Egyptian General Intelligence Service" (GIS) for years by taking advantage of his privileged position.
The Egypt-born suspect had been employed at the press service since 1999, most recently working in the visitors' service of the German Federal Press Centre, in charge of communicating on the activities of the chancellery.
German Federal Prosecutor's said in a statement that he had been transmitting information to the GIS "since July 2010 at the latest".
"The accused wanted to help the Egyptian intelligence service by sending it his observations on how the media dealt with domestic and foreign policies related to Egypt as well as the general news situation," the prosecutor's office added.
Police said they had opened an investigation against the suspect at the beginning of July.
In 2014 and 2015, the individual also unsuccessfully tried to recruit a source for the Egyptian secret service by providing GIS employees with the necessary contact.
In exchange for the information provided, the suspect hoped to receive preferential treatment from the Egyptian authorities. In particular, his mother would have been assisted in asserting her Egyptian pension rights, prosecutors say.
The suspect had sometimes been invited to official receptions, for example on the occasion of the farewell of the Egyptian ambassador to Germany in 2019.
According to the report by the German Internal Intelligence, both the Egyptian Foreign Intelligence Service (GIS) and its Internal Intelligence Service (NSS) are active in Germany.
One of their aims is to collect information on opponents of the Egyptian regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi who live in the country, in particular supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned in Egypt since 2013.