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He was suspected of being a Chinese spy - now ex-diplomat Gerhard Sabathil is telling his story for the first time

2020-12-01T08:05:53.102Z

Gerhard Sabathil was suspected of being a Chinese spy. The proceedings have now been discontinued. For the first time, the ex-diplomat tells his story.



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Ex-diplomat Sabbathil

Photo: imago stock / Xinhua / imago images

SPIEGEL:

Mr. Sabathil, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution thought you were a Chinese agent, and the Federal Prosecutor has now dropped the case.

Do you feel satisfaction?

Sabathil:

I'm relieved, but the anger still prevails in me.

There is nothing I have delivered to China, and the investigations have not given me anything.

I feel like Josef K. in Kafka's trial.

Paradoxically, I know very little about my own case because classifying it as a secret has deprived me, as the accused, of the right to inspect certain files. 

SPIEGEL:

On what grounds did the Federal Public Prosecutor discontinue the proceedings?

Sabathil:

The justification consists of a subordinate clause, which reads: "Not confirmed with the sufficient certainty required to be charged with acting as a secret service agent."

more on the subject

Icon: Spiegel Plus Icon: Spiegel Plus Mysterious secret service case: Did this German ex-diplomat spy for China? By Fidelius Schmid and Christoph Schult

SPIEGEL:

An acquittal sounds different.

Sabathil:

Legal German!

It is a termination of the proceedings according to Section 170, Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, there is no cleaner way out of proceedings.

I am disappointed that the German constitutional state neither gives me the reasons for the initial suspicion nor for the termination of the proceedings.

My lawyer asked to inspect the files on the day of delivery.

But we have been denied this again and again in the past few months.

My case is classified as a state secret, maybe I won't know the full truth for a few years, maybe never.

I can't help but get the impression that the sloppy work of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is being covered up.

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Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2020-12-01

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