Alleged Libyan spies go on trial in Berlin
Two Libyan nationals went on trial in Berlin on Monday, charged with spying on exiled Libyans in Germany on behalf of the country's security service, DPA reported
The men, a 43-year-old Libyan foreign ministry official and a 46-year-old laboratory technician, refused to testify in court.
The 43-year-old is alleged to be a Libyan intelligence officer in charge of a European spy network, and the other man stands accused of being one of his informers.
The aim was to weaken political opposition groups to the point of collapse, federal prosecutors said.
Targets of their spying activities are to have included a meeting of regime opponents in a Cologne hotel in August 2007, and trip for opposition members to the Swedish capital Stockholm.
Criminal police officers found 7,000 dollars (5,200 euros) in the car of the older man, and have speculated that the money could be an agent fee in return for information.
In addition prosecutors said the men had observed a demonstration organized by Amnesty International in August 2009, on the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Moamer Gaddafi to power.
The 46-year-old allegedly took photos of demonstrators, which he is thought to have handed to the 43-year-old at a Berlin meeting before his arrest.
The trial began under strict security measures, and the suspects sat behind bulletproof glass.
Outside the courtroom, the defence lawyer of the 43-year-old said the charges were spurious, and rested largely on assumptions.
The prosecutors allege that the men knowingly harmed German interests through their behaviour.