Indian couple go on trial in Germany for spying on Sikhs

AFP Berlin, Germany Nov 21, 2019, 04.21 PM(IST)

Japanese journalist Shiori Ito holds a banner reading "Victory" outside the Tokyo District Court after a court verdict ordered in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 18, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Their trial was being held in a court in Frankfurt.

An Indian couple accused of spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities in Germany went on trial Thursday on charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

The suspects were charged in March and have been named as Manmohan S, 50, and his wife Kanwal Jit K, 51, in keeping with German privacy rules for defendants.

Their trial was being held in a court in Frankfurt.

"Manmohan S agreed... to provide information about Germany's Sikh community and Kashmir movement and their relatives to an employee of the Indian foreign intelligence service Research & Analysis Wing," prosecutors said in a statement earlier this year.

His wife joined him in monthly meetings with the Indian intelligence officer between July and December 2017, and in total the couple were paid 7,200 euros ($8,100).
Sikhs in Germany number between 10,000 and 20,000 - their third biggest community in Europe after Britain and Italy, according to the religious rights group REMID.