Apparently, a Berlin sting caught a British embassy spy

A court rendering of David Smith's 4 November appearance at the Old Bailey

The OId Bailey has learned that a Russian spy working at the British embassy in Berlin was apprehended through a sting operation.

When he gave classified information to Russian authorities, 58-year-old British security guard David Ballantyne Smith was employed.

The court was told how his arrest in August 2021 was made possible by two fictitious Russian operatives who were operating undercover.

Smith, according to the prosecution, was paid for information and had strong anti-UK views.

Last year, Smith admitted guilt to eight charges, and he is back in court today to defend himself.

He claims he was not paid, was driven by a workplace grievance, and had mental health issues.

The British embassy was escorted into by Smith on August 5, 2021, and the Old Bailey heard testimony about how one undercover agent pretended to be a "walk-in" Russian informant named "Dmitry.".

Later, Smith could be seen on CCTV taking a picture of Dmitry's earlier video.

"The prosecution claims that he. Alison Morgan KC testified in court that the defendant "knows the potential significance of the Dmitry incident because he has taken the recordings with the intention of passing that material on.".

In the street, he encountered a second undercover agent posing as "Irina," a Russian intelligence agent.

"Irina was deployed to play the role of the GRU [Russian spy agency] officer and to see whether someone - Dmitry - was providing information to the UK that could be detrimental to Russia," explained Ms. Morgan.

Smith was secretly videotaped acting reserved and telling Irina he needed to talk to "someone" first.

Smith wrote a letter to a military staff member at the Russian Embassy in Berlin in November 2020, which served as the impetus for the undercover operation.

According to the prosecution, Smith favored Russia and its rulers in exchange for money and information.

The British embassy in Berlin
Smith claims he did not leak information for financial gain and that his only goal was to "inconvenience and embarrass" the embassy.

They claim that there were unaccounted-for funds, including £700 ($800) in cash that was discovered at his Potsdam home.

Smith has asserted that his only goal in leaking information to Russia was to "inconvenience and embarrass" the embassy, where he had been employed since 2016.

According to the prosecution, his intentional contact with Russian authorities—which included sharing sensitive and confidential information with them—displayed a desire to harm British interests.

Travel documents and blank embassy headed paper were among the items taken from his apartment.

At that address, pictures were taken of a Russian Federation flag, a Soviet military hat, a toy Lada car with Communist decals, and a Russian plush Rottweiler dog.

A cartoon that was found in his locker at work showed the former German chancellor Angela Merkel's head being held by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was dressed in military garb.

Scottish-born Smith was extradited on April 6 of last year before being detained at Heathrow for violations of the Official Secrets Act.

By engaging in behavior that was harmful to the security or interests of the state, Smith pleaded guilty to eight charges under the Official Secrets Act last November.

At the Old Bailey, Smith will receive his punishment on Friday.

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