Alexander S. is a man who supplied Putin's defence industry with technology for the production of nuclear and chemical weapons, reports Zeit Online.
The man, who has a good reputation in his hometown of Leipzig and is valued for his connections in Eastern Europe, was a member of the Foreign Trade Committee of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for four years.
The trial of Alexander S. has been taking place since 24 May in the guarded hall of the Higher Regional Court of Dresden. A verdict in his case is expected in the coming days. The federal prosecution's charges include supporting the production of chemical weapons in Russia and circumventing EU sanctions in this regard.
The defendant was also alleged to have supplied Russia without permits with specialised laboratory equipment intended for the development of weapons of mass destruction, operating as part of a ‘secret supply network’ controlled by the Kremlin's secret services, emphasises 'Zeit Online.'
Alexander S. denies allegations of espionage and aiding and abetting the production of nuclear weapons. During the trial, he argued that the equipment supplied was to be used for civilian purposes, such as pharmacy and research laboratories.
“His explanations are full of all kinds of contradictions, it is difficult to believe in the alleged naivety of the accused,” the state security experts involved in the case assessed.
Commentators point out that the ongoing trial gives an insight into the black economy of Russian sanctions.
“It gives an idea of the effort the Kremlin is putting into acquiring Western technology for its military, which has been at war with Ukraine for almost five months, bombing apartment blocks and shopping centres. And it could threaten the world,” 'Zeit Online' emphasises.
It also emphasised that Russian weapons of mass destruction are being made by importing equipment from Germany by Alexander S., who "ignored all warnings in order to continue doing business."
Alexander S. has been in custody for more than a year. At the hearings he is calm and "gives the impression of a man who comes to business meetings" - he wears glasses, a grey jacket, and a briefcase. The federal prosecutor's indictment lists some 12 instances in which Alexander S. allegedly violated the Foreign Trade Act and the Law on Control of War Weapons.
“He is alleged to have earned more than one million euros in this way, ‘Zeit Online’ adds.
Alexander S. was born in 1964 in Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt) as the son of a Russian woman and a German man. He is a graduate of the Loebau officer school, where he earned a diploma in chemical engineering and the rank of lieutenant colonel. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he left the army service. As a specialist in geophysical measurement systems, he ended up in Moscow in the late 1990s. There, he meets a man who becomes his father-in-law and with whom he jointly "begins to develop business relations in Russia."
Alexander S. then begins to supply Russia with specialised equipment, including laboratory equipment for working with toxic and radioactive materials and other "goods that the Russian arms industry can use." Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, the European Commission "imposed sanctions that made it difficult for him to do business." Many of the devices he made money from supplying became subject to so-called dual-use regulations. Their export from Germany was approved by the Federal Office of Foreign Trade and the Economy (BAFA).
Source: Poland Daily 24, Zeit Online