British embassy security guard denies passing secrets to Russia
‘British spy’ denies passing secrets to Russia: Security guard at the British embassy in Berlin pleads not guilty to giving information to Russian military attache
- David Smith, 57, is charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act
- Smith, a security guard at the British embassy in Berlin, is accused of spying
- He is accused of collecting data and passing it on to an alleged Russian agent
- A British national who was living in Potsdam, Smith was extradited yesterday
- Today he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court where he denied claims
A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin who is accused of spying for Russia has today denied allegations he passed ‘secret’ information about the Government to a Russian military attache.
David Smith appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act. He pleaded not guilty to each of the charges.
The 57-year-old is accused of collecting information from the embassy and passing it to a person he believed was a representative of the Russian state, among other allegations, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The British national, who was living in Potsdam, Germany, allegedly committed the offences between October 2020 and August last year.
David Smith appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act. He pleaded not guilty
Smith was arrested by German police at his apartment in Potsdam on August 10 last year
Court lists detailing the charges allege Smith ‘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’, in breach of the Official Secrets Act.
In eight other charges, Smith is 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’.
It is also alleged he ‘collected material relating to the operation and layout of the British Embassy in Berlin, and that information was calculated to be or might be or was intended to be directly or be indirectly useful to an enemy, namely the Russian state’.
Smith was arrested by German police on August 10 and was remanded in custody in the country.
Smith was arrested by German police on August 10 and was remanded in custody in the country. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today. Pictured: A Police van believed to contain Smith arriving at court today
David Smith appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (pictured) on Thursday to face charges
In a statement issued yesterday, Nick Price, head of the CPS special crime and counter terrorism division, said: ‘David Smith has been charged with nine offences contrary to the Official Secrets Act.
‘He is accused of seven offences 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 was a member of the Russian authorities.
‘After reviewing the case and authorising charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts in order to bring Mr Smith back to the UK.’
A statement from the Met Police added: ‘A man is due in court charged with Official Secrets Act offences, following an investigation that is being led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
‘David Ballantyne Smith, 57, a British national who was living in Potsdam, Germany, is charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act 1911.
‘Smith, who was employed as a security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin, was extradited back to the UK from Germany on Wednesday following his arrest by German police on 10 August 2021.’
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