Husband and wife charged with espionage do not deny links with Russian intelligence
STUTTGART, June 25 (RAPSI) - The lawyers of Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, a German couple standing trial as Russian spies, have not denied that their clients were linked with the Russian intelligence services in their final speeches during the trial in the Stuttgart State Court.
The couple who had been living in Germany under aliases with Austrian passports were detained in October 2011. They have been in custody ever since.
Official charges of illegal cooperation with a foreign intelligence service were brought against them in September 2012.
On Tuesday, lawyer Horst-Dieter Poetschke, who represented Andreas Anschlag, noted in court that many countries were engaged in espionage.
He reminded the court of several recent scandals involving the US classified PRISM program, the British special services' activities and the surveillance of G20 summit participants in London in 2009.
According to Poetschke, spies frequently work for the sake of peace and help prevent military conflicts.
Anschlag began his work as a spy in Germany during the Cold War era and was guided by his country's interests, he added.
He earlier told RIA Novosti that the Anschlags were Russian citizens.
The sentence will be handed down on July 2. The prosecutors seek 7.5 years in prison for Andreas Anschlag and a 4.5-year sentence for his wife, alongside a 500,000 euro fine.