Before he disappeared from Germany in June 2020, the then Wirecard manager Jan Marsalek handled sensitive documents – which he boasted about to third parties.

In 2018, Marsalek apparently obtained a copy of a report classified as “secret” by the Austrian authorities by the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Novichok attack on defector Sergei Skripal in March 2018 in Salisbury, England, which was attributed to Russia had created.

WELT AM SONNTAG has now received a confidential report from the Austrian Federal Anti-Corruption Office on this matter. The report of July 13, 2021 shows that according to the authorities, Marsalek was in fact in possession of a copy of the sensitive documents – thanks to sources in Vienna.

In its secret report, the corruption authority writes that the data leak has seriously damaged the reputation of the Republic of Austria. “The illegal disclosure of sensitive and classified information and documents,” which then found their “way to Jan Marsalek,” throws “Austria back massively in international cooperation and damages the reputation of our republic to a serious extent,” the authority put it.

The paper also underlined the great importance that access to these documents had for the Russian side at the time: “The Russian military intelligence service GRU, which was publicly held responsible in the international community for the nerve agent attack in Great Britain, was under great pressure to obtain intelligence of information about the status of investigations in the West.”

In an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG and Bayerischer Rundfunk, the former Austrian secret service agent Martin Weiss, who is being investigated in connection with the disappearance of Marsalek in Vienna and Munich, made his public statement for the first time.

The former head of department in the Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution was still in contact with Marsalek months after his disappearance. At a meeting with reporters in Dubai, Weiss said that he received calls from the manager wanted by the arrest warrant via the encrypted messenger services Signal or Threema until spring 2021. Then the contact was broken. Weiss’ information cannot be verified.

Weiss, who now works for a finance and investment company in Dubai, denied the allegation of aiding the escape.

Marsalek flew to Minsk on June 19, 2020 from Bad Vöslau in Austria. It had previously become known that the balance sheet of the German payment service provider was missing a sum of 1.9 billion euros. Marsalek allegedly wanted to travel to the Philippines to help clarify the matter. But instead he probably traveled to Moscow, where, according to the findings of the Federal Intelligence Service, he could have gone into hiding protected by the Russian secret service.

One day before the escape, Weiss had attended a meal with Marsalek in Munich, who asked him to organize a flight. However, he does not see himself as an escape helper, as he said at the meeting in Dubai. He pointed out that the arrest warrant for Marsalek was only issued days later on June 22, 2020.

Weiss explained that he contacted Marsalek after leaving the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in 2018. He had met him three years earlier in a Viennese ministry. “I asked him if he had something for me. He then spoke of a start-up.” What was meant was the holding company of a business friend of Marsalek in Munich, for which he had worked on a number of projects.

The former secret service agent describes Marsalek as cosmopolitan and well-informed. “I would characterize him as someone with whom you can talk about any topic, in many languages.” Although public prosecutors are also investigating Weiss because of the flight and possible orders for illegal inquiries, his words do not sound like rancor. “That’s the way it is in life. Almost like a marriage. They don’t know if it’s going well or not.”