A Pakistani man went on trial in a Berlin court on March 8 to face charges that he was spying on Israeli and Jewish institutions for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp. (IRGC).
The 31-year-old, identified as Syed Mustufa Haider, refused to make a statement at his opening hearing.
His defense lawyer at his March 8 hearing said Haider remained silent "out of fear."
Haider was arrested in July 2016 and charged in December with spying for the Quds Force, the foreign operations wing of Iran’s IRGC.
Prosecutor Michael Greven said Haider spied on organizations and individuals across Europe, including the German-Israel Society and its former director, Reinhold Robbe.
Greven also alleged that Haider collected information about a professor at a university in Paris and others in Western European countries -- passing the information on to a contact with the Iranian intelligence agency.
Haider, who was born in Karachi and arrived in Germany in 2012, faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted of the charges.
The trial is due to continue on March 13 and six further hearings are scheduled through late March..
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and JTA