Spymaster on treason charge

Bonn (Reuter) - Markus Wolf, the former Communist spymaster, was yesterday charged with spying and treason for running at least 12 agents against Bonn during the Cold War, including one who brought down Willy Brandt, the former West German Chancellor.

The federal prosecutor's office said Wolf, who headed East Germany's spy network from 1953 to 1986, had up to 600 agents in West Germany. The long-awaited charge focused on 12 West Germans it said Wolf personally directed and paid to betray military and political secrets to East Berlin.

'As head of the HVA (Main Intelligence Administration), the accused was responsible for all espionage conducted by that agency against West Germany,' the office said in a statement.