UK security official arrested, charged with spying for Putin

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The Metropolitan Police force have extradited a security guard working at the British Embassy in Berlin on charges of spying for Russia, the U.K. has announced.

David Ballantyne Smith, 57, was returned to Britain and faces nine charges under the Official Secrets Act related to “the collection and communication of information useful to the Russian state.”

Smith is due to appear in a London court on Thursday.

Police said the alleged offenses took place between October 2020 and August 2021, when Smith was arrested by German police at his home in Potsdam, southwest of Berlin.

Nick Price, head of special crime and counterterrorism at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, said Smith 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.”