Has Siemens associate been spying for Ahmadinejad?
Published in “Die Welt” on November 13, 2009
By Elisalex Henckel
First, the former associate of the Austrian Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) in Vienna was appointed the head of the Siemens security department. Next, there were allegations that Gert-René Polli leaked a strictly confidential dossier of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to Iranian authorities. The Prosecutor’s Office in Vienna is conducting investiations over charges of betrayal of secrets.
Almost two years ago, Gert-René Polli had resigned from his post as the chief of Austria’s BVT, however, apparently he never quite left behind the world of the intelligence. His past is most likely not only the reason why he in 2008 became the head of security with Siemens in Munich, but also the reason why, after only about one year, he got rid of this very job. The question is, however: Was his downfall the result of overly good connections with Iran, or, as he himself is putting it, of overly bad connections with the CIA?
At any rate, the German Judiciary has been keeping track of him since spring. Reports of “Focus” and “Spiegel” that were published last weekend, stated that Polli is said to have leaked a strictly confidential dossier of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to Iranian authorities. This is why the Office of the Federal Prosecutor in Karlsruhe is investigating the Austrian citizen Polli over suspected intelligence activities. Siemens did not comment on which role these accusations played in Polli’s layoff a couple of weeks ago, but merely stated that it had been by mutal agreement.
Since (the Federal Prosecution Office in) Karlsruhe requested administrative assistance, the public prosecution in Vienna has started investigations as well. They suspect the former head of the BVT of abuse of position and betrayal of secrets. Polli himself, in a conversation with the pictorial “News”, called this “absurd”. He said he would be able comment on specific accusations only after being exonerated from official discretion, however, he is convinced that “American security agencies” are at the bottom of the attacks. In his view, the issue is a mere tit-for-tat response to his administration in Austria, since he “on the grounds of the legal situation in Austria rejected many American operations.”
“News” claims to have a document in which Polli complains to BND-chief Ernst Urlau, saying that after 11th September 2001 the “wishes” of the US intelligences at times had “exceeded the sphere of constitutional legality”.