Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

Former EU diplomat suspected of spying for China disappears from EU lobbying register

EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET
European flags in front of European commission headquarters, also called Berlaymont Building in Brussels, Belgium, 13 March 2018.

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Gerhard Sabathil, the former diplomat suspected of spying for China has been removed from a list of lobbyists in the EU’s Transparency Register, a database run by the EU Parliament and the European Commission, which tracks organisations registered to lobby the EU’s institutions.
Earlier in January, German prosecutors said they were investigating three people who were suspected of spying for China that included a former EU diplomat.  Sabathil, who is German, has denied the allegations through a lawyer.
Sabathil worked for the EU Commission and the EU’s diplomatic corps before becoming the managing director of EUTOP’s Brussels and Berlin offices in 2017. He was listed in EUTOP’s entry in the Transparency Register as a person accredited for access to the EU Parliament premises, but in late January his entry disappeared as well as his profile from EUTOP’s website.
EUTOP has declined to say why and when he was removed from the register.
The sensitive and highly embarrassing case for the EU comes amid growing fears in the West that China’s espionage activities are now at an all-time high. In recent months, US intelligence agencies have been pressuring their allies in Europe to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from launching the EU’s 5G mobile network.
European officials in Brussels have baulked at following the Americans’ lead out of fear that it may jeopardise potentially lucrative business contracts with private Chinese companies and those tied to China’s Communist Party.
Now-former EU member, the UK, recently decided to allow limited access to Huawei into the development of its 5G network.

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