GERMANY: GERMANY'S FEDERAL COURT OF JUSTICE OVERTURNS EAST GERMAN SPYMASTER MARKUS WOLF'S CONVICTION ON TREASON AND BRIBERY CHARGES AND ORDERS NEW TRIAL.Record ID: 639777
- Title: GERMANY: GERMANY'S FEDERAL COURT OF JUSTICE OVERTURNS EAST GERMAN SPYMASTER MARKUS WOLF'S CONVICTION ON TREASON AND BRIBERY CHARGES AND ORDERS NEW TRIAL.
- Date: 18th October 1995
- Summary: KARLSRUHE, GERMANY (OCTOBER 18, 1995) (REUTERS TELEVISION - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/SV WIDE VIEW OF FEDERAL HIGH COURT/ SIGN (BUNDESGERICHTSHOF IN GERMAN) (2 SHOTS) 0.08 2. GV/PAN INT. COURT BUILDING, AUDIENCE JOURNALISTS (2 SHOTS) 0.15 3. SV EAST GERMAN SPYMASTER MARKUS WOLF'S ATTORNEY JOACHIM SCHWENN (BLACK ROBE) 0.18 4. SV STATE PROSECUTOR (RED ROBE) 0.21 5. GV MEDIA SURROUN SCHWENN/SV SCHWENN ANSWERING TO QUESTION WHETHER IT WAS A POSITIVE VERDICT SAYING HOW ELSE CAN ONE INTERPRET IT?(GERMAN) (2 SHOTS) 0.30 6. SV CAMERAMEN 0.32 8. SV SCHWENN SAYING THE DEFENDANT CAN BE HAPPY WITH THE VERDICT. THE COURT HAS DECIDED TO OVERRULE THE VERDICT AND TO SEND IT BACK TO THE COURT IN DUESSELDORF FOR REVIEW. THEN WE WILL SEE WHAT IS DECIDED THERE. (GERMAN) 0.57 9. GV MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES 1.01 10. SV SCHWENN SAYING THE DEFENDANT HAS REACHED WHAT HE HAS HOPED FOR. THE OVERRULING OF A LEGALLY INCORRECT CONVICTION. THAT MEANS FOR A NEW VERDICT THAT THE SENTENCE WOULD DEFINITELY BE SHORTER (GERMAN) 1.10 11. SV SCHWENN SPEAKING TO MICROPHONE 1.14 (HP/IZO/RL) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA4Y0GFQAQ3U95MR0GUF3KVV7TW
- Location: KARLSRUHE, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Duration: 00:01:14
- Story Text: Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Wednesday (October 18) overturned East German spymaster Markus Wolf's conviction on treason and bribery charges and ordered a new trial.
The court cited a supreme court ruling in May that East Berlin spymasters like Wolf, who ran intelligence networks against the West, could not be jailed by united Germany for their Cold War cloak-and-dagger work which was legitimate in East Germany.
Wolf could, however, be convicted for acts such as bribery and kidnapping, which were also offences in East Germany, or for spying on the West from other countries where it was illegal.
This raised the strange prospect of Wolf being tried on the basis of a famous photograph taken of him as he met a West German agent in 1979 in Stockholm, which gave the West its first real glimpse of the spymaster who until then had been known as "the man without a face".
The suave Wolf, now at 72 an author and frequent chat-show guest, was sentenced to six years in prison by a Duesseldorf court in 1993 for treason and bribery. The sentence was suspended to await the supreme court ruling.
Wolf built up the foreign intelligence network of East Berlin's Ministry for State Security (Stasi) from scratch, heading it for 33 years until his retirement in 1986.
He was previously convicted of planting Guenter Guillaume as a "mole" near West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who resigned in 1974 after his aide was uncovered as an agent.
Wolf was also convicted of running a spy codenamed Topaz, a senior German official named Rainer Rupp, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and directing two brothers as agents at Bonn's own BND espionage agency.
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