Berlin authorities announced Saturday that they have officially charged Erich Mielke, former head of East Germany's State Security Police - better known as Stasi - with fraud and various other crimes.

The 250-page indictment accused Mielke of ordering illegal telephone tapping in at least 25 cases, embezzling foreign currency funds and involvement in election fraud, Berlin's Justice Senator Jutta Limbach said.Mielke, 83, headed the feared East German Ministry for State Security from 1957 until the fall of Stalinist ruler Erich Honecker in October 1989, after which Mielke was expelled from the Communist Politburo.

On Dec. 8, 1989, Mielke was arrested and remained in custody until his release for health reasons in early March, 1990. But in July, he was arrested again and kept in jail while investigations continued.