Rome | The Italian officer arrested Tuesday for espionage for the benefit of Russia could not “meet” his expenses with his salary, his wife said in an interview published Thursday by the daily “Il Corriere della Sera”.
His salary of “3000 euros was no longer enough for a family with 4 children, 4 dogs, (…) 1200 euros of mortgage to repay per month”, explains Claudia Carbonara, wife of Walter Biot, arrested while he handed over classified documents to a Russian officer in exchange for 5,000 euros.
“He was desperate. Desperate for our future and that of our children (…) Walter had been in crisis for some time, he was afraid of not being able to meet all our expenses (…) Because of COVID, we fell apart. impoverished ”, tries to justify this psychotherapist specialized in the therapies of couple during a telephone conversation with a journalist of the“ Corriere ”.
“If only he had told me about it, we would have discussed it together, I would have tried to talk him out. But he decided on his own (…) I can’t reach him, I can’t even find a lawyer for him, ”she explains.
According to testimonies collected by the “Corriere” from her colleagues, Walter Biot, a 56-year-old frigate captain who worked at the Defense Staff in Rome, “needed money and it was known” .
“The Russians had to play on his weaknesses, on his personal problems”, according to a colleague who knows him well, quoted by the newspaper. “What he did is very serious for the security of the country and NATO, if he really sold himself he has no excuses and he ruined his life. He risks at least 15 years in prison, ”he said.
Walter Biot had started his career as a non-commissioned officer in the Navy, then thanks to internal competitions had become a frigate captain, before moving to the naval staff where he was in charge of relations with the press. From 2010 to 2015, he was in the office of the Minister of Defense, before arriving at the Defense Staff.
Another of his colleagues quoted by the “Corriere” still cannot believe it: “It is as if you were told that a person you trust has committed an incredible act. For us Walter was a friend we had no doubts about ”.