David Smith: Former guard at British embassy in Berlin jailed for spying for Russia
A former safety guard on the British embassy in Berlin was sentenced to greater than 13 years in jail on the Old Bailey in London on Friday after being caught spying for Russia.
Judge Mark Wall stated 58-year-old David Ballantyne Smith had collected info from the British embassy “by stealth” between 2018 and 2021, a few of which was clearly marked as “secret.” He then bought the knowledge to Russia as a part of an “ongoing” relationship.
“I am sure that you committed these crimes intending to assist Russia… Your motive in assisting them was to damage British interests,” the choose stated, in line with Reuters.
“You were paid by the Russians for your treachery.”
“Of the clearly secret documents, one was a sensitive report addressed to the then Prime Minister of this country, Boris Johnson, sent to him by members of his cabinet. Some of the documents of a lower classification revealed the names, photographs, and personal details of embassy staff,” the choose stated.
Smith had pleaded responsible to eight fees underneath the Official Secrets Act by committing an act prejudicial to the protection or pursuits of the state in November 2021, PA reported.
According to the information company, Smith despatched two letters to Russian Embassy officers in 2020, with one in all them revealing the id of a diplomat who had labored in Russia. The second letter despatched in November 2020 was traced again to Smith, prompting police to launch an investigation.
Smith was being paid by Russia in alternate for offering the key info, the choose dominated, telling him that he had copied a “significant amount of material” throughout his time on the embassy.
“You were fully aware that you should not have copied any of these documents and equally aware were these documents to get into the wrong hands, they might harm British interests or pose a threat to those working at the British Embassy,” the choose stated.
Nick Price, from the Crown Prosecution Service, stated Smith’s actions weren’t simply pushed by cash and greed, however that he had “expressed a strong dislike towards the UK and Germany and expressed sympathy with the Russian authorities.”
“These beliefs may have caused further damage had Smith not been discovered and prosecuted.”