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Briton denies spying at embassy for Russia

Briton denies spying at embassy for Russia
07.04.2022
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A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin has denied spying for Russia.

British national David Smith, 57, is accused of collecting information from the embassy and passing it to a person he believed was a Russian representative, among other allegations.

He pleaded not guilty to nine offences under the Official Secrets Act at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Smith will next appear in court at the Old Bailey on 13 April.

The British national, who was living in Potsdam in Germany, was arrested in August 2021 over the alleged offences between October 2020 and August last year. He was extradited to the UK on Wednesday.

The court lists detailing the charges allege Mr Smith attempted to communicate by letter with General Major Sergey Chukhurov, the Russian military attache based out of the Russian Embassy in Berlin.

The material allegedly 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. It is claimed the information was “intended to be useful to an enemy, namely the Russian state”.

In eight other charges, Mr Smith is accused of collecting information about the layout and operations of the UK embassy in Berlin that could be useful to the Russian state.

It is alleged he collected information classified as secret relating to UK government activities.

Mr Smith also allegedly made unauthorised photocopies of documents, video recordings of the embassy’s CCTV system and kept Sim card packaging he had been asked to dispose of.

Mr Smith, of no fixed address, was not granted bail and remanded in custody.

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