German businessman charged over exports to Russian military

World

BERLIN (AP) — A German businessman and an alleged accomplice have been charged over the delivery of machinery to a company linked to the Russian military in violation of European Union sanctions, German prosecutors said Tuesday.

The main suspect, identified only as Alexander S. in line with German privacy rules, is charged with seven counts of violating export laws and accused of acting for foreign intelligence. He is accused of delivering machine tools to an unidentified state-run defense company that makes missile systems for the Russian army, of giving the names of sham recipients and making false declarations about the tools’ intended use.

Prosecutors say seven deliveries worth a total of about 8 million euros ($9.4 million) were made between January 2016 and January 2018.

All of the tools delivered were so-called dual-use goods that could be used for either civilian or military purposes, prosecutors said. Those can’t be exported to Russia under current EU rules if they are or could be destined for the military.

The second suspect, Alexander O., is suspected of being an accessory to violations of export laws. Prosecutors accuse him of advising the businessman on the offending exports and being present at meetings where the logistics were discussed. They say he was paid commissions via a company he controlled and received around 270,000 euros in total.

The indictment was filed at Hamburg’s state court on Oct. 8.

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