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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

British Embassy security guard in Berlin charged with spying for Russia

British Embassy security guard in Berlin charged with spying for Russia

David Smith, 57, has been charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act
A security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin has been charged with spying for Russia.

David Ballantyne Smith, 57, is accused of committing nine offences under the Official Secrets Act.

He has been charged with seven counts of collecting information with the intent of sending it to the Russian authorities, one of attempting communication and one of providing information to a person he believed to be a representative of the Russian state.

Mr Smith was arrested by German police on 10 August last year, on suspicion of collecting information from the embassy with the intention of passing it to a foreign country.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it worked with the Metropolitan Police to build a prosecution case and authorised charges on 15 November after obtaining consent from the attorney general.

Mr Smith, who lived in the German city of Potsdam at the time, was extradited to the UK on Wednesday and will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The nine alleged offences, under the Official Secrets Act 1911 and the Official Secrets Act 1920, were committed between 31 October 2020 and 10 August 2021.

A spokesperson for the CPS said: “Criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and he has the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
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