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British protection guard ‘who hated his country’ admits spying for Russia at UK’s embassy in Germany

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A British protection guard who allegedly hated his country has admitted spying for Russia though doing work at the UK’s embassy in Germany and now faces up to 14 a long time in prison.

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is reported to have wanted to stay in Russia or Ukraine at the time he passed on mystery intelligence to Moscow from Might 2020.

Despite dwelling over and above his usually means, 800 euro (£700) in hard cash was found at his residence in Potsdam in Germany when he was arrested in August final year.

Prosecutors alleged he experienced required to hurt the British isles and the British Embassy exactly where he experienced labored for 8 a long time.

He was also said to have been angered at the traveling of the Rainbow flag in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pictures of his dwelling place shown Russian memorabilia, which include a flag.

On his bookshelf were volumes on history and a novel by the late John le Carre, who is very best identified for his Cold War spy thrillers.

At a plea hearing at the Old Bailey, Smith, now of no set address, pleaded responsible to eight prices beneath the Formal Strategies Act by committing an act prejudicial to the protection or passions of the point out.

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, (drawn in this court docket sketch at the Aged Bailey) pleaded responsible to spying for Russia 

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is said to have been driven by an intense hatred for his own country and wanted to live in Russia or Ukraine at the time he passed on secret intelligence to Moscow from May 2020

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is mentioned to have been pushed by an intensive hatred for his personal nation and preferred to dwell in Russia or Ukraine at the time he handed on secret intelligence to Moscow from May well 2020 

Smith had Russian military memorabilia including a Russian flag and uniform cap (pictured) and authorities in Berlin believed he was given funds by the Russian intelligence services

Smith experienced Russian military memorabilia together with a Russian flag and uniform cap

The extent of Smith’s activities had been set out in the rates laid towards him. 

The 1st depend stated that he experienced communicated with General Main Sergey Chukhurov, the Russian armed service attache centered out of the Russian Embassy, Berlin in 2020.

In it, he gave info about the activities, identities, addresses and telephone quantities of numerous British civil servants.

He gathered intelligence on the operation and format of the British Embassy in Berlin, which was stated to be helpful to ‘an enemy, particularly the Russian state’.

Some of the material was classified ‘Secret’ and associated to the actions of the British Federal government and its German embassy.

On August 5 past calendar year, he gathered unauthorised photocopies of paperwork furnished by a man or woman acknowledged as Dmitry as nicely as SIM card packaging.

On August 5 and 6 previous calendar year, he also gathered recordings of CCTV footage of Dmitry which was reported to be ‘useful to an enemy, particularly the Russian State’.

On the day of his arrest on suspicion of spying for Russia, Smith had left work early complaining he was feeling sick, only to be fulfilled by German law enforcement on arrival in Potsdam.

An assessment of his electronic products unveiled footage from the embassy and a draft letter to a Russian armed forces attache dated May 14 2020.

In it, he confirmed he worked at the embassy and needed anonymity as he supplied a e book labeled as ‘official sensitive’.

There were being shots of personnel stability passes and own information and facts, ‘secret’ categorised emails and files, posters and whiteboards in the embassy.

Subsequent a probe by British counter-terrorism law enforcement, a ask for was manufactured for his extradition in November past year and he was introduced again to the British isles in April.

As properly as the discovery of hard cash at Smith’s household, he had expressed hatred of the United kingdom and Germany and sympathy with the Russian authorities, the prosecution alleged.

Smith’s responsible pleas past 7 days can only now be described given that the Crown indicated it would not seek out a trial on a ninth depend, that the defendant had denied.

Smith was arrested by German police at his apartment in Potsdam on August 10 last year

Smith was arrested by German law enforcement at his condominium in Potsdam on August 10

His law firm Matthew Ryder KC informed the court docket that Smith’s foundation of plea differed from the prosecution circumstance.

He advised the courtroom: ‘There is a very big difference among the Crown and Mr Smith about his drive.

‘His intention and why he did what he did and the seriousness of the allegations are disputed by Mr Smith.

‘It is ideal to say there is substantial distinction as to the basis Mr Smith has pleaded guilty including him not getting a destructive intention towards the British isles that the prosecution have alleged in opposition to him.’

It is have an understanding of that Smith solid himself as a disgruntled staff alternatively than a spy and never ever intended his actions would aid Russia.

Smith faces a most sentence of 14 many years in jail for spying.

In 2020, previous defence employee Simon Finch, 52, from Southport, admitted disclosing ‘damaging’ best solution specifics of a United kingdom missile process and is at this time serving an eight-yr jail term.

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