He was in contact with high-ranking employees at the Russian Embassy in Berlin office since at least October 2014. His contacts are also believed to have worked for Russia’s military intelligence service. Ralph G. was also a member of German business committees. He worked as a sales manager in the small town of Erkrah east of Düsseldorf, in addition to his military position. His wish to pique the Russian military contacts’ interest and solidify his “security expert” reputation were the main drivers for his actions, as well as an “extremely Russia-friendly attitude.”
His defense argued that all the documents and information he provided was publicly available. The court said its verdict was impacted by the non-secret nature of the information passed on, as well as the duration of his actions, which lasted for over four years. The judge said that his actions meant he accepted harming the interests of both Germany and the US.
Since Russia’s war on Ukraine, Germany has exercised more scrutiny with handling cases of any officials or individuals with cozy relations with Russia. (by DW, 2022)
The 66-year-old German was found to have provided Russia with information on Germany’s reserve forces and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. His defense argued that all the information he had provided was publicly available.