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German officials summoned the U.S. ambassador on Friday over an espionage case regarding an intelligence officer who was allegedly selling secrets to the U.S. agents.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry announced they were calling upon U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson to assist with the matter and help clear it up, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"This is a very serious development," a spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said. "The government will now await the conclusions of the federal prosecutor and federal criminal police's investigation."
A low-level intelligence officer, who German media claim worked for Bundesnachrichtendiesnt (BND), is accused of selling documents to a foreign power, with fingers pointing squarely towards the United States. Allegedly the man received $34,000 for 218 BND documents, Bild claimed.
According to Bloomberg, the spy allegedly passed on information regarding a parliamentary probe into the U.S. National Security Agency.
"I expect this issue to be thoroughly clarified," Social Democrats caucus leader Thomas Oppermann said. Should the reports turn out to be correct, "this would be an unheard of attack on the freedom of our parliament."
Should the BND employee have been selling information to U.S. intelligence officers, it could further destabilize shaky relations with Germany, who are already quite upset over the NSA's data collection program and for allegedly hacking Merkel's phone.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com