British Embassy Guard Charged with Espionage

The Metropolitan Police said a former security guard at the British embassy in Berlin was charged with spying for the Russian state. 

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Head of the Special Crime and Counter-terrorism Division Nick Price said that the security guard, David Ballantyne Smith, 57, a British national who had been living in Potsdam, Germany was charged with nine offenses, under the Official Secrets Act 1911. 

“After reviewing the case and authorizing charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts in order to bring Mr. Smith back to the UK,” Price added.

Smith was extradited to the UK from Germany on Wednesday and was due to appear at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday.

Scotland Yard said the offenses were related “to the collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state,” which took place between October 2020 and August 2021.

CPS said Smith also faced charges relating to allegations that he passed information to a person he believed was a representative of the Russian state. 

German police arrested Smith on August 10, 2021.

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