British Embassy Guard Jailed for Spying for Russia

Final Up to date: February 18, 2023, 00:04 IST

File picture of a Russian flag. (Picture: Reuters)

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, was caught in a sting operation after passing delicate materials to the Russian embassy in Germany

A former safety guard on the UK’s Berlin embassy, who admitted spying for Moscow, was on Friday jailed for over 13 years beneath the Official Secrets and techniques Act.

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, was caught in a sting operation after passing delicate materials to the Russian embassy in Germany.

“You had been paid by Russia on your treachery,” mentioned Decide Mark Wall as he introduced the sentence of 13 years and two months on the Previous Bailey court docket in central London.

“Your motive in helping them (the Russians) was to break British pursuits,” he added.

The decide, who earlier rejected Smith’s claims he solely handed info to Moscow twice to trigger “embarrassment” to the UK, described his offending as “intensive and critical” and mentioned he had proven no actual regret.

He informed Smith his culpability was “excessive”, as he had copied a “vital quantity of fabric through the years” and put embassy employees susceptible to hurt.

The navy veteran, initially from Paisley in western Scotland, had labored on the Berlin embassy for 5 years.

Prosecutors mentioned earlier that Smith first wrote to the Russian embassy in 2020, revealing particulars of British embassy employees and suggesting additional contact.

After the UK and German authorities discovered about this, they devised a plot to attempt to catch Smith within the act.

Faux spies

Smith was informed {that a} Russian citizen known as Dmitry — in actuality a UK agent — needed to go to the British embassy to cross on delicate info.

Smith then copied CCTV footage of “Dmitry” contained in the embassy and took packaging from a cellphone SIM card given to him.

One other UK agent later approached Smith pretending to be “Irina”, an operative in Russia’s GRU navy intelligence service.

In covert video, Smith is heard telling her: “I don’t belief the bastards I work for” and “I don’t wish to be in Germany. I’m caught within the land of Nazi bastards”.

He was arrested at his flat quickly afterwards, in August 2021, and later extradited to the UK.

Smith informed the court docket this week he felt “ashamed” when he noticed the British embassy employees he had betrayed.

He claimed he had solely needed to trigger “inconvenience and embarrassment”.

However the court docket heard Smith later made a number of movies of delicate areas contained in the embassy constructing.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan mentioned Smith filmed workplaces intimately, exhibiting their exact places.

She requested him: “Who was directing these movies?”

Smith mentioned: “Nobody in any respect,” and claimed he was drunk on the time.

He denied being paid, however round 800 euros (round $857) in money was discovered at his residence that might not be accounted for, the court docket heard.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Counter Terrorism Command at London’s Met Police mentioned Smith was “recognized and stopped following a rigorously deliberate operation and investigation involving our counter-terrorism officers, colleagues from the safety companies, and counterparts from the German police”.

“This investigation reveals how the UK will work carefully with our allies to establish and convey to justice anybody who seeks to undermine, or poses a risk to our nationwide safety,” he added.

Smith is married to a Ukrainian girl who moved again to her residence nation in 2018.

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(This story has not been edited by Timesof24 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

Finest Tags: #British #Embassy #Guard #Jailed #Spying #Russia
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