[IWAR] ESPIONAGE Swiss arrest German spying on Scientologists

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Thu Apr 09 1998 - 20:26:17 PDT

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    The Germans are right. --MW
    Swiss arrest German agent for spying on Scientologists
    Copyright  1998 Nando.net
    Copyright  1998 Agence France-Presse 
    BERN (April 9, 1998 1:02 p.m. EDT http://www.nando.net) - A German intelligence
    agent was arrested in Switzerland for
    allegedly spying on the Church of Scientology, the Swiss federal prosecutor's
    office said Thursday.
    The agent is suspected of carrying out illegal activities for a foreign
    country, working for a political information service and
    falsifying identification documents.
    The man, whose identity was not revealed, was arrested Monday in Basel during a
    meeting with a Swiss woman who was
    apprehended and released after questioning, a statement said.
    A judge confirmed Tuesday the agent was being detained on the orders of the
    federal prosecutor Carla del Ponte.
    An investigation showed that the woman, who has not been named, had been in
    contact for several months with the
    intelligence services of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
    Director of Intelligence Services in Baden-Wuerttemberg apologised to the Bern
    chief of police, following Monday's arrest.
    The director Helmut Rannacher said the agent had "clearly overstepped the
    limits of his responsibilities and had infringed on
    Swiss sovereignty."
    In a statement he added that it was unclear why the German agent, who was
    arrested with a Swiss woman, had not met the
    woman on German territory as initially planned.
    The German government claims the Church of Scientology is a profit-making body
    that extracts money from its members.
    Bonn has put the church under surveillance in Germany, a decision strongly
    criticized by the U.S. government.
    In Hamburg, police said the Church of Scientology has at its disposal a
    powerful secret service to serve its extremist and
    totalitarian ends.
    According to a report compiled by the Hamburg intelligence services and
    presented to the public by Hamburg Interior
    Minister Hartmuth Wrocklage on Thursday, the Church of Scientology's Office of
    Special Affairs operates with weapons of
    "psychological warfare" and espionage and counter-espionage techniques.
    Its aim is to infiltrate governments, administrations and companies and
    systematically to slander and demoralise, the Social
    Democrat minister said.
    Responding to news of the arrest, Heber Jentzsch, president of the Los
    Angeles-based Church of Scientology International,
    said: "We are shocked that Germany would engage so brazenly in criminal acts
    against our church."
    "However, we are not completely surprised. Inside Germany secret service agents
    have been illegally harassing Scientologists
    for the entire last year, " he said in a statement.
    Jentzsch said he intended to urge Washington to demand that Germany disclose
    what espionage activities it conducts against
    Scientology in the United States.
    "In fact, we will do so in all of the more than 100 countries where Scientology
    churches and missions exist."

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