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British embassy guard in Germany charged with spying for Russia

A 57-year-old former employee of the British Embassy in Berlin has been extradited to Britain to face espionage charges on accusations of collecting and attempting to communicate information useful to Russia to a foreign country. Photo courtesy of British Embassy in Germany/<a href="https://twitter.com/UKinGermany/status/1511619719186448386?s=20&amp;t=-Kr8Jf-x6v_zedC75YsJ6g">Twitter</a>
A 57-year-old former employee of the British Embassy in Berlin has been extradited to Britain to face espionage charges on accusations of collecting and attempting to communicate information useful to Russia to a foreign country. Photo courtesy of British Embassy in Germany/Twitter

April 7 (UPI) -- A security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin has been charged with spying for Russia, authorities said.

The suspect has been identified as 57-year-old David Ballantyne Smith who was living in Potsdam, Germany, near the capital.

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Britain's Metropolitan Police said in a brief statement Wednesday that Smith has been charged with nine offenses under the Official Secrets Act 1911 relating to the collection and communication of "information useful to the Russian state."

"He is accused of seven offenses of collecting information with the intent of sending it to the Russian authorities, one of attempting communication and one of providing information to a person he believed was a member of the Russian authorities," Nick Price, head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division at the Crown Prosecution Services, said in a statement.

The alleged offenses uncovered by Britain's Counter Terrorism Command occurred between October 2020 and August 10 of last year when he was arrested by German authorities, police said.

The charges were authorized by CPS after gaining consent from the attorney general on Nov. 15.

"After reviewing the case and authorizing charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts in order to bring Mr. Smith back to the U.K.," Price said.

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Smith on Wednesday was extradited to Britain where he is scheduled to appear before the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

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