British embassy guard charged with spying for Russia

The British Embassy in Berlin

A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin suspected of spying for Russia has been extradited to appear in court charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act.

David Ballantyne Smith, 57, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The UK national was arrested by German police on 10 August.

The offences are alleged to have happened between October 2020 and August 2021.

Mr Smith, who had been living in Potsdam, in Germany, was flown back to the UK on Wednesday ahead of his appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The Metropolitan Police said the nine charges related to the collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state.

Nick Price, head of the special crime and counter terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said Mr Smith was 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.

He said the CPS had worked closely with its German counterparts to bring Mr Smith back to the UK after obtaining an extradition warrant.

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