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British security guard at Berlin embassy charged with spying for Russia
6 April 2022, 16:45 | Updated: 6 April 2022, 17:04
A security guard who worked at Britain's Embassy in Berlin has been charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act.
Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command has charged David Ballantyne Smith, 57, with nine offences relating to the "collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state."
He was arrested last August at his rented flat in Potsdam.
He was extradited back to the UK from Germany today following his arrest by German police on 10 August 2021, Scotland Yard said.
He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "A man is due in court charged with Official Secrets Act offences, following an investigation that is being led by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.
"David Ballantyne Smith, 57, a British national who was living in Potsdam, Germany, is charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act 1911.
"He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 7 April.
"The alleged offences were committed between October 2020 and August 2021.
"Smith, who was employed as a security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin, was extradited back to the UK from Germany on Wednesday, 6 April following his arrest by German police on 10 August 2021.
"The nine charges relate to the collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state."
The Crown Prosecution said that one of the charges faced by David Smith relates to allegations he passed information to a person he believed was a representative of the Russian state.
Nick Price, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division at the CPS, said: "David Smith has been charged with nine offences contrary to the Official Secrets Act.
"He is 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.
"After reviewing the case and authorising charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts in order to bring Mr Smith back to the UK."