British embassy security guard spying for Russia, Putin

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British embassy security guard denies spying for Russia

A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin, Germany has denied spying for Russia.

57-year-old David Smith denied violating the Official Secrets Act and also pleaded not guilty to nine offences under the 1911 Act.

The charges “relate to the collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state,” London’s Metropolitan Police Service said.

Mr Smith is accused of selling information about people entering and leaving the embassy between October 2020 and August 2021. According to the Crown Prosecution, one of the charges against him relates to allegations that he passed information to a person he believed was a representative of the Russian state.

British prosecutors said he ‘attempted to communicate’ by letter with ‘General Major Sergey Chukhurov, the Russian military attache based out of the Russian Embassy, Berlin’.

The material ‘contained details about the activities, identities, addresses and telephone numbers of various members of Her Majesty’s Civil Service’, the prosecution alleges. As well as information on personnel, Mr Smith is accused to collecting material about the operations and layout of the embassy that may have been ‘useful to an enemy’.

He is charged with making unauthorised copies of documents, video recordings of the CCTV system and retaining packaging for SIM cards he had been ask to ‘dispose of’.

Smith is also accused of committing acts ‘prejudicial’ to the safety and interest of the state by gathering information classified as ‘secret’ about the ‘activities of Her Majesty’s Government’.

Mr Smith was arrested by German police in August 2021 after an international investigation and was extradited to the UK on Wednesday April 6.

He appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, where he was remanded in custody to reappear at the Old Bailey on 13 April.

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