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A security officer at the British embassy in Berlin accused of spying for Russia allegedly passed on “secret” information about the government to a Russian military attaché, a court has heard.

David Smith, 57, denied nine offenses under the Official Secrets Act when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The Briton, who lived in Potsdam in the German capital, is accused of gathering information from the embassy and passing it on to someone he believed to be a representative of the Russian state, as well as d other alleged offences, between October 2020 and August last year. .

During his appearance, Smith spoke only to give his full name, age and address, and to enter his plea of ​​not guilty.

The court heard the charges, including the allegation that Smith tried to communicate by letter with Major General Sergey Chukhurov, a Russian serviceman based at the Russian Embassy in Berlin.

The court heard that material in the letter contained “details of the activities, identities, addresses and telephone numbers of various members of Her Majesty’s public service”, in violation of the Official Secrets Act.

On the other eight counts, Smith is charged with committing acts “prejudicial” to the security and interest of the state by collecting classified “secret” information about the “activities of Her Majesty’s Government ” and to have “collected material relating to the operation and arrangement of the British Embassy in Berlin, and that such information was or could be or was intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy, namely the ‘Russian state’.

He also allegedly made unauthorized photocopies of documents, video recordings from the embassy’s CCTV system and kept packaging of SIM cards which he had been asked to dispose of.

Smith also allegedly released information about building repairs to the embassy after he was “approached by someone you thought was a member of Russian military intelligence (the GRU).

All charges carry a maximum sentence of 14 years.

Smith was denied bail and remanded in custody. He was extradited from Germany to the UK on Wednesday following his arrest by German police on August 10, 2021. Scotland Yard said the investigation was carried out by counter-terrorism officers.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: ‘David Smith has been charged with nine offenses contrary to the Official Secrets Act.

“He is charged with seven offenses of gathering information with the intention of transmitting it to the Russian authorities, one of attempting to communicate and one of providing information to a person he believed to be a member of the Russian authorities.

“After reviewing the case and clearing the charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts to bring Mr Smith back to the UK.”

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