German man charged with spying on exiles for China

AP News
Posted: Apr 08, 2011 8:56 AM

Prosecutors say they have charged a German man with spying on ethnic Uighur exiles on behalf of China's intelligence services.

Federal prosecutors announced the espionage charges Friday against the 64-year-old, identified only as L. in line with German privacy laws. They said a week ago that they were pressing similar charges against a Chinese national of Uighur origin.

Prosecutors allege that L. passed information on Munich's Uighur community to Chinese intelligence between April 2008 and October 2009.

Germany is a significant base for activists pushing for greater Uighur rights in China's far-western Xinjiang region. Many Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), historically Xinjiang's majority ethnic group, resent what they see as heavy-handed Chinese rule there.