December 9, 2021

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Briton arrested in Germany accused of spying for Russia

A British man working at the embassy in Berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia, German offiicals have said.

Prosecutors said a UK citizen accused of spying for the Kremlin since last year while working at the British Embassy had been detained. 

The man was arrested on Tuesday in Potsdam following an investigation jointly headed by German and British authorities.

German privacy laws meant he could only be identified as David S, aged 57. Detectives have conducted a search of his home and office.

Prosecutors said he was suspected of having spied for the Russian intelligence service since at least November.

Before his arrest, he worked at the British Embassy in the German capital, having been hired locally.

He allegedly passed on documents he received at work to the Russians on at least one occasion, and received an unknown amount of money in return, the prosecutor’s statement said.

“On at least one occasion he forwarded documents obtained in the course of his professional activities to a representative of a Russian intelligence service,” the German prosecutors’ statement said.

“In return for providing information, the accused received cash in a previously unknown amount.”


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A judge at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe – Germany’s supreme court – is expected to decide on Wednesday whether the suspect should be held in custody.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police, who also declined to name him fully, said: “The man was arrested in the Berlin area on suspicion of committing offences relating to being engaged in ‘Intelligence Agent activity’ (under German law).

“Primacy for the investigation remains with German authorities. Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command continue to liaise with German counterparts as the investigation continues.”

The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is responsible for investigating alleged breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

A UK government spokesman said: “An individual who was contracted to work for the government was arrested yesterday by the German authorities.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further as there is an ongoing police investigation.”

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said: “We take the indications that the intelligence activity of the arrested man was carried out on behalf of a Russian intelligence service very seriously.

“Spying on a close ally on German soil is not something we can accept.” 

In November, Russia’s security services detained a UK-based executive working for Aeroflot on suspicion of spying for Britain.

Dmitry Fedotkin – the UK station manager for the Russian airline for the last five years – was reportedly arrested in Moscow.

An unnamed Russian source alleged that Mr Fedotkin had passed information about Russia’s social and political situation to British intelligence services – but did not have access to state secrets linked to the aviation industry.

In a separate casse, Paul Whelan – a British, Irish, US and Canadian citizen – was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018 by Russian authorities and accused of spying on Russia.

The former United States Marine was subsequently sentenced to 16 years in prison – and has already spent two years behind bars, some of that in solitary confinement.

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