A British security guard who worked at the embassy of the United Kingdom in Berlin will be sentenced for to breathe for Russia after falling into an elaborate trap that led to his arrest, the prosecution explained Monday.
david ballantyne smithThe 58-year-old admitted to eight charges linked to espionage and will be sentenced on Friday by London Criminal Court.
Smith, who worked for five years at the British embassy in Germany, pleaded guilty in November to violating the official secrets law and according to the prosecution, which requires a maximum sentence of 14 years, he did so motivated by an intense hatred of his country.
Prosecutors noted on Monday that Smith sent a letter to a member of the military staff at the Russian embassy in Berlin with documents including names, addresses and phone numbers of employees of the British legation.
When the British and German authorities learned of the letter, they orchestrated a trap to try to catch him red-handed.
A British agent posed as a Russian citizen named Dmitri who wanted to pass on sensitive information to the UK embassy. Smith filmed footage of himself inside the legation and saved information from a phone SIM card instead of destroying it as ordered.
Another contact posed as an agent of the Russian military intelligence service GRU called Irina and Smith went to an appointment with her in the center of Berlin, shortly after which he was arrested.
Prosecutors say the Briton, who is married to a Ukrainian woman, was motivated by his hatred of Britain and Germany.
“The defendant expressed anti-Western and anti-NATO views to other employees, and expressed his support for (Russian President) Vladimir Putin”, assured the prosecution.
Smith’s lawyers, who will speak on Tuesday, must argue that he wanted to cause shame and non-detriment to the UK, that he was not paid for his actions and that he suffered from mental health problems.
They arrested two Russian spies pretending to be South Americans
In January, two people posing as antiquities dealers with nationality from South American countries were detainees in slovenia under the accusation of being spying for Russia.
The prosecution confirmed to the news agency STA that two foreigners were arrested on December 5 in Ljubljana on suspicion of having acted as foreign spies and that the judicial investigation is ongoing, but he refused to provide other details.
“The court has ordered a criminal investigation that is still ongoing against the two suspects who were arrested on December 5,” he told the AFP prosecutor Katarina Bergant.
The detainees are members of the Russian military intelligence organization GRU and had false identities, said the Slovenian newspaper give it. The newspaper stated that they posed as citizens of Latin American countries, one of them from Argentina.
The two had registered a real estate and antiques business, renting premises in Ljubljana as a cover, and They appeared to be engaged in the real estate and antiques trade.
The Slovenian media report that they carried out espionage operations not only in Slovenia, but also in other countries.
If tried and found guilty, they could be sentenced to eight years in prison.
With information from AFP
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