A safety guard at Britain’s embassy in Berlin is going through 14 years in prison after he introduced himself as much as undercover agent for Russia, passing over state secrets and techniques because of his intense hatred of the United Kingdom.
David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is alleged to have sought after to are living in Russia or Ukraine on the time he handed on secret intelligence to Moscow from Would possibly 2020.
Following Smith’s arrest it emerged that he had spent 15 months spying ahead of being stuck by means of the intelligence services and products in a sting operation.
He despised British values and was once angered by means of the flying of the Rainbow LGBT+ flag on the embassy that hired him for 8 years, prosecutors mentioned.
The 58-year-old, at the beginning from Paisley, Scotland, now faces as much as 14 years in jail after pleading responsible to 8 counts underneath the Reputable Secrets and techniques Act.
In spite of residing past his manner, 800 euro (£700) in money was once discovered at his house in Potsdam in Germany when he was once arrested in August remaining yr.
Pictures of his front room displayed Russian memorabilia, together with a flag.
On his bookshelf had been volumes on historical past and a singular by means of the overdue John le Carre, who’s perfect identified for his Chilly Warfare undercover agent thrillers.
At a plea listening to on the Outdated Bailey, Smith, now of no mounted deal with, pleaded responsible to 8 fees underneath the Reputable Secrets and techniques Act by means of committing an act prejudicial to the security or pursuits of the state.
David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is alleged to have sought after to are living in Russia or Ukraine on the time he handed on secret intelligence to Moscow from Would possibly 2020
David Ballantyne Smith, 58, (drawn on this courtroom comic strip on the Outdated Bailey) pleaded responsible to spying for Russia
David Ballantyne Smith, 58, is alleged to were pushed by means of an intense hatred for his personal nation and sought after to are living in Russia or Ukraine on the time he handed on secret intelligence to Moscow from Would possibly 2020
The level of Smith’s actions had been set out within the fees laid towards him.
Smith was once speaking with Basic Primary Sergey Chukhurov, the army attaché on the Russian Embassy, Berlin, in 2020.
He was once mentioned to have handed a letter containing delicate details about the actions, identities, addresses and speak to numbers of quite a lot of British civil servants.
It were posted from close to Smith’s deal with and handwriting research concluded it was once most probably he had written at the envelope himself.
He accumulated intelligence at the operation and structure of the British Embassy in Berlin, which was once mentioned to be helpful to ‘an enemy, specifically the Russian state’.
One of the most subject matter was once labeled ‘Secret’ and associated with the actions of the British Executive and its German embassy.
Smith had Russian army memorabilia together with a Russian flag and uniform cap
On August 5 remaining yr, he accumulated unauthorised photocopies of paperwork supplied by means of an individual referred to as Dmitry in addition to SIM card packaging.
On August 5 and six remaining yr, he additionally accumulated recordings of CCTV pictures of Dmitry which was once mentioned to be ‘helpful to an enemy, specifically the Russian State’.
At the day of his arrest on suspicion of spying for Russia, Smith had left paintings early complaining he was once feeling sick, handiest to be met by means of German police on arrival in Potsdam.
An exam of his digital units printed pictures from the embassy and a draft letter to a Russian army attache dated Would possibly 14 2020.
In it, he showed he labored on the embassy and sought after anonymity as he introduced a ebook labeled as ‘respectable delicate’.
There have been photos of personnel safety passes and private data, ‘secret’ labeled emails and paperwork, posters and whiteboards within the embassy.
Pictures he had filmed was once discovered on units at his house, in addition to a letter to former army attaché Colonel Sivov, wherein Smith defined he may supply delicate data that the colonel ‘could possibly employ’.
Police additionally discovered movies of a stroll across the embassy development, footage of organisational charts and notes about workers.
Following a probe by means of British counter-terrorism police, a request was once made for his extradition in November remaining yr and he was once introduced again to the United Kingdom in April.
In addition to the invention of money at Smith’s space, he had expressed hatred of the United Kingdom and Germany and sympathy with Russian government, the prosecution alleged.
Within his house, there was once an astonishing trove of Soviet memorabilia that revealed the place his true loyalties may lay and introduced critical vetting questions for the Overseas Place of business.
For instance, the battered 17-year-old silver Ford Fiesta parked outdoor his flat bore the quantity plate RU1801: the primary two letters of ‘Russia’ adopted by means of the yr that Alexander I was Tsar.
Within the lounge of his 800-euro-a-month ground-floor flat was once an enormous Russian flag, an outdated badge with a Russian military crest at the wall, a life-size rottweiler toy dressed in a Russian hat, a bookshelf with titles written in Russian Cyrillic script and a Soviet army cap.
Propping up quite a lot of Russian language philosophy books was once a white style of a Trabant, the state-produced Soviet-era automotive.
And the previous RAF junior airman’s social media was once plagued by footage of himself dressed in pro-Russian garments along anti-Nato and anti-western messages.
In a single improbable symbol, Smith poses subsequent to a Russian tank dressed in a T-shirt emblazoned with the Russian flag. Smith was once extradited again to Britain in April. He now faces additional hearings and sentencing in February.
Smith was once arrested by means of German police at his condo in Potsdam on August 10
Smith’s responsible pleas remaining week can handiest now be reported for the reason that Crown indicated it will now not search a tribulation on a 9th rely, that the defendant had denied.
His legal professional Matthew Ryder KC informed the courtroom that Smith’s foundation of plea differed from the prosecution case.
He informed the courtroom: ‘There’s a very massive distinction between the Crown and Mr Smith about his motivation.
‘His purpose and why he did what he did and the seriousness of the allegations are disputed by means of Mr Smith.
‘It’s proper to mention there may be important distinction as to the root Mr Smith has pleaded responsible together with him now not having a detrimental purpose in opposition to the United Kingdom that the prosecution have alleged towards him.’
It’s understood Smith solid himself as a disgruntled worker somewhat than a undercover agent and not supposed for his movements to assist Russia.
Smith faces a most sentence of 14 years in jail for spying.
In 2020, former defence employee Simon Finch, 52, from Southport, admitted disclosing ‘destructive’ best secret main points of a UK missile machine and is these days serving an eight-year prison time period.