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Guard at UK embassy in Berlin ‘passed secrets to Russian military attache’

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

07 April 2022

A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin accused of spying for Russia allegedly passed “secret” information about the Government to a Russian military attache, according to court papers.

David Smith is charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The British national, who was living in Potsdam, is accused of gathering information from the embassy and passing it to someone he believed was a representative of the Russian state, among other alleged offences between October 2020 and August 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” and that 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”.

He is also alleged to have made unauthorised photocopies of documents, video recordings of the embassy’s CCTV system and “kept Sim card packaging which you had been asked to dispose of”.

Smith communicated information about building repairs at the embassy after being “approached by a person you believed to be a member of Russian Military Intelligence (the GRU)”, the charges claim.

The 57-year-old was arrested by German police on August 10 and remanded in custody before being extradited to the UK on Wednesday.

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