UK Embassy Safety Guard, Who Spied For Russia, Will get 13 Years In Jail



David Ballantyne Smith, 58, was caught in a sting operation.


A former safety guard on the UK’s Berlin embassy, who admitted spying for Moscow, was on Friday jailed for over 13 years below 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 have been paid by Russia in your treachery,” mentioned Choose Mark Wall as he introduced the sentence of 13 years and two months on the Previous Bailey courtroom in central London.

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

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

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

The army 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 workers and suggesting additional contact.

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

Pretend spies

Smith was instructed {that a} Russian citizen referred to as Dmitry — in actuality a UK agent — wished to go to the British embassy to go on delicate data.

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

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

In covert video, Smith is heard telling her: “I do not belief the bastards I work for” and “I do not wish to be in Germany. I am 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 instructed the courtroom this week he felt “ashamed” when he noticed the British embassy workers he had betrayed.

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

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

Prosecutor Alison Morgan mentioned Smith filmed places of work intimately, exhibiting their exact areas.

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 house that might not be accounted for, the courtroom 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 menace to our nationwide safety,” he added.

Smith is married to a Ukrainian lady who moved again to her house nation in 2018.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by Timesof24 workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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