German court allows spy suspects' reunion

Berlin, Jan 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A German-based couple accused of spying for Russia was allowed a brief reunion by court for the first time since being arrested in October 2011, a court official said.

The meeting took place just before the start of the second session of hearings in the trial of Andreas Anschlag, 54, and his wife Heidrun, 48, who have been accused by German authorities of "secret agent activity" and "forgery of documents", said Stuttgart court spokesperson Stefan Schueler.

The court responded to the couple's appeal made at the start of the trial Tuesday, and decided to take a "more humane" approach to the suspects, who have been accused of serious crimes and face up to 10 years in prison, Shueler said.

The official, however, did not give details of the meeting but said it was held in the presence of a federal police official.

The husband and wife were arrested from different places in Germany in October 2011. In September 2012, they were charged with spying for a foreign intelligence service.

Prosecutors say the couple have been spying in Germany for over 20 years -- first at the request of the Soviet Union and later for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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