A British guard was sentenced to 13 years in prison for spying for Russia

David Smith (Metropolitan Police/Handout via REUTERS) (METROPOLITAN POLICE/)

A British security guard was sentenced this Friday by a London court to 13 years and 2 months in jail for spying for Russia in 2020 while working at the UK embassy in Berlin.

Judge Mark Wall of the Old Bailey Criminal Court read the sentence at the end of the trial to which the guard was subjected david smith58 years old, arrested in August 2021.

Smith, who has the right to decide whether to serve his sentence in the UK or in Germany, worked at the british embassy in berlin for eight years and was accused of having sent the Russian major general Sergey Chukhurov personal data of embassy officials as well as images from security cameras.

Before reading the sentence, the magistrate said that Smith had copied a “significant amount of material” over the years and that “I knew I shouldn’t have copied any of these documents”.

The guard also knew that if those documents fell into the wrong hands, they could harm UK interests or pose a threat to those who work at the British embassy, ​​the judge said.

David Smith takes a video of the monitors in the security cabinet of the British Embassy in Berlin, Germany, on August 3, 2020 (Metropolitan Police/Handout via REUTERS)
David Smith takes a video of the monitors in the security cabinet of the British Embassy in Berlin, Germany, on August 3, 2020 (Metropolitan Police / Handout via REUTERS) (METROPOLITAN POLICE /)

According to details revealed during the trial, Smith started delivering documents in 2020 in a letter to a military attaché at the Russian embassy and promised he would receive more information.

In a second letter, passed pictures of embassy staff with annotated descriptions, putting them in “maximum risk”, said the judge, who added that the guard received financial compensation from Russia for his “betrayal”.

“You established regular contact with someone at the Russian embassy and this contact was a conduit through which your illegally obtained material was transmitted,” Wall told Smith.

As the prosecution argued at trial, Smith wanted to hurt the UK and expressed discontent when the British embassy raised a flag in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Smith was arrested in the German city of Potsdam and, after an investigation by the British anti-terrorist police, the United Kingdom requested his extradition, which was carried out last April.

(With information from EFE)

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