The scientist gave secrets to a bank employee – Mir – Kommersant

The scientist gave secrets to a bank employee – Mir – Kommersant

Today in Munich began the trial of Russian citizen Ilnur Nagaev, who is accused of collaborating with Russian intelligence. According to the German prosecutor’s office, his curator was an officer of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Leonid S., who worked under diplomatic cover in the Russian Consulate General. Mr Nagaev now faces up to five years in prison, but he himself claims he “didn’t know what he was getting into” when he entered into small talk with an unfamiliar Russian banker in the Alps.

Usually, the parties try to settle such cases through closed channels, but this spy scandal has already led to the expulsion of one Russian diplomat from Germany. During today’s court session, his name was mentioned for the first time.

According to the German prosecutor’s office, Leonid S. recruited Ilnur Nagaev in the fall of 2019 and repeatedly received paper and electronic intelligence from him for money. In January of this year, he was declared persona non grata and was forced to return to Russia, leaving his post at the Russian Consulate General in Munich.

In accordance with German law, the prosecutor’s office did not publish the names of the defendants in the case, but earlier, Kommersant managed to find out the name of the accused. Until June 18, 2021, he was listed as a researcher at the Department of Engineering Mechanics of the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Materials Science at the University of Augsburg.

On that day, Mr. Nagaev was arrested at a McDonald’s near the central Königsplatz square in Augsburg. Shortly before this, Leonid S. left the fast food restaurant, having managed to avoid criminal prosecution thanks to diplomatic immunity. After that, information about Nagaev was promptly removed from the university’s website, but it remained in the cache.

According to the investigation, between November 27, 2019 and June 18, 2021, the curator and his agent met at least 12 times in various cafes and pubs in the center of Augsburg.

It is assumed that the materials received by the “Russian intelligence officer” contained information about the development of the European launch vehicle Ariane 6.

The amount received by Mr. Nagaev during this time is estimated at €2.5 thousand.

After the arrest, Ilnur Nagaev spent eight months in custody. In the courtroom, he said that this time was “pure horror” for him, because he never thought that he would have to go to jail. He spoke only Russian and, as it seemed to German journalists, he stuttered badly. Apparently, the young man had to celebrate his 30th birthday in custody, because at the time of detention he was still 29 years old.

“I am not an agent of any secret service. And I will never be one,” said Ilnur Nagaev. The accused resolutely denies the fact of conscious cooperation with the Russian special service. In court, he said that he missed his family, had not seen his girlfriend for a very long time, who lives in Russia and used to regularly visit him in Augsburg. The young man planned to build a career as a scientist in Germany, but, according to him, after his arrest, all his life plans were destroyed.

A reporter for the German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine reports that during the trial, the Russian scientist told how exactly he was recruited. According to the defendant, in the fall of 2019, he and his friends rested in the Alps, where he met Leonid S. The man first spoke to him at the fish market and left his phone number, citing the fact that “from time to time he comes to Augsburg on business”

Leonid S. introduced himself as a bank employee, working mainly with investors in the field of space research, and, having learned about the scientific activities of Ilnur Nagaev, offered him to earn some money. Leonid S. did not seem suspicious to the young man, so he did not even “try to hide” the fact of their acquaintance from friends and relatives.

However, the father, whom Nagaev told about the new source of income, advised him to “quit this nonsense” as soon as possible, and the accused was allegedly going to follow his advice in the near future. Moreover, he claims that the information given to Leonid S. “had nothing to do with the University of Augsburg” and could be found in open sources.

His Berlin lawyer Jens Palupski insists on the same. “The accused only obtained information that is freely available, and also partially translated and processed it,” he said, adding that this information could be obtained by anyone with Internet access.

The defense will have to prove that Ilnur Nagaev did not know that he was working for Russian intelligence – this fact is one of the key in the trial. If the guilt of Ilnur Nagaev is proven, he faces up to five years in prison, followed by deportation from Germany.

Pavel Tsukanov


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