Two German men suspected of involvement in international nuclear smuggling were brought before a South African court today, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Sept. 8).
Gerhard Wisser, 66, and Daniel Geiges, 65, both permanent residents of South Africa, appeared on four counts of violating the Nuclear Energy Act and a law banning WMD proliferation, according to AFP.
The men “unlawfully and intentionally imported, held in transit and exported goods which may contribute to the design, development, production, deployment, maintenance or use of weapons of mass destruction without a permit,” according to the charge sheet. The three nuclear charges relate to possession, manufacture and export of uranium-enrichment equipment, according to AFP.
Their arrests follow that of South African engineer Johan Meyer for alleged possession of nuclear-related equipment and reputed links to a nuclear smuggling network led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
The charges against Meyer were dropped yesterday, suggesting that he may have reached a plea deal, according to AFP (Agence France-Presse/SpaceWar.com, Sept. 9).
A senior South African official said that Meyer was prepared to “tell all,” the Washington Times reported.
“He’s squealing and willing to do a deal to tell us, the Americans and the Europeans, all we want to know,” the official told the Times (Paul Martin, Washington Times, Sept. 9).