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Germany arrests second suspect accused of spying for the US

Reports claim the man being investigated worked at the defence ministry

German officials are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the US, a week after the arrest of a German intelligence employee cast a new shadow over relations between the two countries.

Police raided properties in Berlin on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency”, federal prosecutors said. They did not elaborate or specify what intelligence agency was involved, but said they had not made an arrest.

“We have investigations in two cases of suspected espionage – a very serious suspicion,” said a government spokesman, Steffen Seibert. He declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigations.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported, without naming sources, that the man being investigated worked at the defence ministry and was suspected of spying for the US. Die Welt newspaper claimed, also without naming sources, that the suspect was a German soldier who aroused the suspicion of the military counter-intelligence agency because of his close contacts to alleged US spies.

A defence ministry spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Uwe Roth, declined to confirm the reports but said the case fell “into the ministry’s area of responsibility” and that the Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, had been informed.