German prosecutor investigates BND spying
Iran Press TV
Mon May 4, 2015 12:43PM
Germany's top public prosecutor is looking into accusations that the country's intelligence agency violated laws by helping the United States spy on European officials and firms.
Germany's federal prosecutor's office announced on Monday that a preliminary probe has been launched into the case following media reports that Germany's main intelligence service has been spying for a major US intelligence body for more than 10 years.
Leaked secret documents published by German media suggest that Bundesnachrichtendienst, known to many by its acronym BND, has been carrying out illegal spying activities on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA) since 2002.
According to the German magazine, Der Spiegel, BND has also collected information on European firms at Washington's behest to see if they were violating trade embargos.
The recent investigation comes after opposition politicians demanded more information about the unfolding scandal from the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The magazine has also claimed that in 2013 the BND officials ordered its staff to delete some 12,000 email addresses, IP addresses and phone numbers, mostly from senior German officials who had been under NSA surveillance.
Some other officials and government agencies across the Europe, especially in France, have been also the target of BND's spying for NSA.
Members of the opposition in the German parliament have harshly criticized the government for the alleged spy activities, demanding clear explanations and more information on the issue.
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