Agent passed NATO secrets to Russia?

The spy had access to top-secret NATO documents.
A senior Estonian official at NATO has reportedly passed US defense missile shield and cyber-defense secrets to Russian Intelligence.

Herman Simm, an Estonian defense ministry official arrested in September, is said to have been recruited by the Russians in the late 1980s and has been charged in Estonia with supplying information to a foreign power, The Times reported.

Simm, 61, was responsible for handling all of his country's classified information at NATO, and at the time had access to every top-secret graded document from other countries in the NATO alliance.

Several investigation teams from the EU and NATO, under the supervision of a US officer, have flown to the Estonian capital Tallinn to assess the case, which is being viewed as the most serious case of espionage against the alliance since the end of the Cold War.

Simm's wife Heete - who previously worked as a lawyer at the national police headquarters - has also been detained on charges of being an accessory to treason.

Simm who was at the cutting edge of one of NATO's most important new strategic missions - that is to defend the alliance against cyber-attack - headed government delegations in bilateral talks on protecting secret data flow.

He was also an important player in devising EU and NATO information protection systems.

Simm is likely to be formally prosecuted at the beginning of next year after damage control teams from NATO have completed their work.

If found guilty, Simm could face between three and fifteen years in prison.

NATO has refused to comment on the case.


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