New statement in espionage case

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At the invitation of the police, German Enercon has added a new statement to its criminal complaint against former competitor, Kenetech Windpower of California, alleging espionage (Windpower Monthly, May 1999). The statement, made on May 5 to police in Enercon's home town of Aurich, follows press and media claims of advanced industrial espionage against Enercon and other companies conducted by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It will be passed to the public prosecution office in Oldenburg, which is investigating whether or not there is a criminal case to answer.

The new statement concerns the visit of three people-two on Kenetech's payroll and the third hired by Kenetech-to an Enercon E40 turbine at Hooksiel in 1994, says Enercon's Stefan Knottnerus-Meyer. He says the alleged role of the NSA is not a part of the police investigation and the statement only refers to a possible connection with the secret service agency. Enercon alleges the three people were on an industrial spying mission to the turbine. Kenetech is now bankrupt.

Knottnerus-Meyer says that on past experience it will be nine to ten months before the public prosecutor refers back to Enercon. Enercon chief Aloys Wobben and his assistant Martina Kuhlmann have spent three or four half or full-day sessions at hearings connected with the case, says Knottnerus-Meyer.

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