A court in the Austrian city of Salzburg ruled to once again extend the arrest of a former Austrian military officer suspected of spying for Russia, Andreas Wiesauer, a representative of the court, told on Tuesday.

“The pre-trial detention has been extended until August 26. The accused has filed a complaint, and the decision on it will be made by the higher regional courts of [the city of] Linz”, the representative said.

Vienna is currently leading a massive probe into the alleged activities of the 70-year-old retired Austrian colonel who allegedly leaked military secrets to Russia between 1992 and 2018. He was arrested back in November, and this extension is his fifth one.

Lawyer of the accused colonel stated that his client ould have never give away state secrets as he had no access to the classified data.

Reacting to the spying scandal, Russia has repeatedly branded the accusations as unfounded. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has meanwhile urged both sides not to dramatise the situation.

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