Germany arrests British on suspicion of spying for Russia


Political spy update

German prosecutors said on Wednesday that a British man working at the British Embassy in Berlin had been arrested on suspicion of transmitting information to Russian intelligence services.

After a joint investigation by the German and British authorities, the 57-year-old British national, named only David S, was arrested in Potsdam, southwest of Berlin on Tuesday.

The German Federal Attorney’s Office stated that he was a local employee, not a diplomat, and was suspected of working for a “foreign agent” since November. A person familiar with the investigation described the suspect as a “contractor” for the embassy.

The Office of the Chief Federal Prosecutor of Germany said in a statement: “At least once, he gave documents he obtained during his professional activities to representatives of the Russian intelligence services.” “The defendant received an unknown amount of cash in exchange for him. Send message.”

The suspect’s apartment and workplace have been searched, and according to German law, he faces charges related to engaging in “intelligence agency activities”.

MI5-the British domestic spy agency that led the British investigation-had been tracking the suspect several months before his arrest.

The German Foreign Ministry stated that the government is taking “very seriously” allegations of Russian intelligence activities in Berlin, adding: “It is unacceptable for us to monitor close allies on German territory.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command stated that the first task of the investigation is still in the hands of the German authorities, but as the investigation continues, British officials will “keep in touch with their German counterparts”.

The Metropolitan Anti-Terrorism Command is responsible for investigating allegations related to suspected violations of the Official Secrets Act.

The British Home Office confirmed that “a person who signed a contract to work for the government” has been arrested by the German authorities. A spokesperson added: “As the police are investigating, it is not appropriate to comment further.”

The suspect appeared at the Karlsruhe Federal Court on Wednesday and he was remanded in custody awaiting trial. A British official stated that he is most likely to be tried in Germany rather than extradited back to the UK.

During the Cold War, as the United States and its Western allies confronted Soviet spies from the East, Berlin became a competing intelligence operations center.

In recent years, Germany has been the target of Russian clandestine activities. In June, federal prosecutors arrested a research assistant to the chairman of a professor of science at a German university on charges of passing information to officials of the Russian Secret Service in exchange for remuneration.

The German authorities announced last year that the 2015 hacking of the Bundestag was carried out by agents of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, which led to the issue of an arrest warrant for GRU agent Dimitri Baden in Berlin. Moscow denies all allegations that it has invaded foreign governments.

The most shocking incident was the killing of a former Chechen rebel leader in Tiergarten Park in Berlin in 2019.The gunman is On trial He was accused of being killed under contract by a “central government agency of the Russian Federation”.

In 2018, former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury, and tensions between Britain and Russia worsened.British police defendant Russian intelligence agents planted a deadly nerve agent, which resulted in the death of a British national who was contaminated with traces from perfume bottles.

Since then, the British government has been criticized by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee for failing to invest sufficient resources to deal with risks from Russia.

A report containing these criticisms was finally published nine months after the committee submitted it to Downing Street, which sparked criticism that the ministers concealed their findings only after the 2019 general election.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow minister of the Interior of the Labor Party, described the Berlin incident as “another example of a real threat to Russia.” He said, “It is unacceptable for the Conservative Party ministers to be so slow in formulating the necessary measures to protect Britain, including implementing the recommendations of the Russian report.”


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