Tuesday, June 11, 2024
 
 

EU opens probe into German spy suspect

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis
Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium on May 17, 2017.

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The European Union has opened an internal investigation over the allegations of a former ambassador accused of spying for China.
“The EEAS has initiated an internal investigation to review possible wrongdoings by the person concerned during his time in the service as well as after that”, a spokesperson for the EU’s diplomatic corps said.
The German diplomat, Gerhard Sabathil, first worked at the EU Commission, and later for the EU External Action Service. He also served as an EU ambassador to multiple countries. He was recalled in 2016 from his post as EU ambassador to South Korea after his security clearance was withdrawn. In 2017, he became the managing director of the lobbying firm EUTOP, working in its Brussels and Berlin offices.
He has denied the allegations through a lawyer. He was listed in EUTOP’s entry in the Transparency Register as a person accredited for access to the EU Parliament premises. However, in late January his entry disappeared from the register. EUTOP also has removed his biography from its website.
EU officials were unsure whether to leave the matter to the German officials or launch their own inquiry. Recently, investigators visited nine properties in Brussels and in Germany, including Sabathil’s German residences and the offices of his employer.

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