Former head of Siemens security said to have worked as an agent

2009/11/07

Published in “Der Spiegel”, November 7, 2009
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/0,1518,659981,00.html

In the past, Gert-René Polli worked for Siemens as the head of security. Now, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office conducts investigations against him. According to SPIEGEL’s information, he is suspected of having worked as an intelligence agent. Apparently, allegations from the USA have caused the investigations – the Americans disapprove of Polli’s good contacts with Iran.

Hamburg – Gert-René Polli, former head of security at Siemens, has become a target of the German Judiciary. Since early 2009, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe conducts investigations against the Austrian citizen who is suspected of working as an intelligence agent.

According to information of SPIEGEL, this happens on the backdrop of a case of espionage that happened in Vienna years ago. A secret operational picture of the BND (German Federal Intelligence Service) that had been routinely forwarded to Austrian authorities, was apparently leaked to the Iranian intelligence service. At that time, Polli headed the Austrian Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter-Terrorism (BVT). The German investigators are now examining the question whether Polli had possibly been personally responsible for the dissemination of the document, and have asked the Austrian Judiciary for legal assistance.

However, the investigations until now have not confirmed the suspicion, but largely invalidated it; connoisseurs of the case, therefore, expect the charges to be dismissed soon.

Polli had been repeatedly critiziced in Vienna for his alleged closeness to Iranian officials. Siemens has recently laid him off – allegedly by mutual agreement.

Speculations circulate in Polli’s environment that US authorities, who repeatedly complained about him, are the driving force behind the preliminary investigations. In his time as the head of the BVT, Polli had insisted that the CIA notifies Austria about their secret operations in that country – to the displeasure of the Americans.

Polli’s good connections with Iran have aroused the US government’s suspicion for quite a while. His lawyer considers the investigations to be a “mere political issue, with the aim of ruining my client’s life.”

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