David Smith Updates: Here Is The Latest World News Update Today About: David Smith, a security guard at the British embassy, admits to espionage for Russia.
While employed at the British Embassy in Berlin, a security guard has acknowledged to espionage for Russia.
According to the prosecution, David Smith, 58, sought to harm the UK and the embassy where he had spent the previous eight years working.
The Briton was charged with gathering information on the embassy and disclosing top-secret papers.
At the Old Bailey, Smith admitted guilt to eight charges arising under the Official Secrets Act.
During the period he shared top-secret info from May 2020, he is claimed to have desired to reside in Russia or Ukraine.
The flying of the Rainbow flag in support of the LGBT community, according to the prosecution, infuriated him and fed his profound hatred for his nation.
700 pounds of cash was discovered at his Potsdam, Germany, residence after his arrest in August 2021.
Smith, who is still without a definite address, admitted guilt on November 4; however, there were initially reporting restrictions in place.
On Friday, they were dropped when the prosecution said it would not pursue a trial for a ninth charge that he had vigorously contested.
Smith will be given a sentence at a later time and might spend as much as 14 years in jail.
EXTRADITION TO THE UK:
The accusations made against Smith stated that he had exchanged information with General Major Sergey Chukhurov, the Russian military attache based out of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, in 2020, including information about the residences, contact information, and activities of various British civil servants.
But the information he has acknowledged gathering or dispersing could still be extremely helpful to the Russians.
It might be able to identify any agents they were meeting with as well as covert British intelligence agents who were present at the embassy.
Information from CCTV may have also given Russian agents guidance on how to conduct their own operations against the embassy and gather its secrets.
However, historically, disgruntled employees have frequently been the most successful recruits for spy services. Smith’s attorneys are understood to dispute the prosecution’s assertions about his motivation.
The incident might also prompt inquiries over the verification processes used for locally hired employees like Smith.
Smith was approached by German police at his house on the day of his arrest after leaving work early and complaining of feeling unwell.
Following an investigation by British counterterrorism police, a request for his extradition to the UK was issued in November 2021. In April, Smith returned to the UK.
After examining his electronic equipment, footage from the embassy and a draught letter with the date May 14, 2020 were discovered.
In the letter, he acknowledged working for the embassy and asked for anonymity in order to deliver a book that was deemed to be “officially sensitive.”
The embassy also had “secret” sensitive emails and documents, images of employee ID cards and personal information, banners, and whiteboards.
Smith’s attorney informed the jury that the defendant rejected the prosecution’s explanation of his purpose.
“It is accurate to say that there are major differences as to the foundation Mr. Smith has pled guilty, including his not having a bad aim toward the UK, as the prosecution have alleged against him,” said Matthew Ryder KC.
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