According to multiple news sources including Sky, the BBC, and Daily Mail, David Ballantyne Smith, 58, a security guard at the British embassy in Berlin is facing 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to spying for Russia by passing secrets to the Russian military attache. Giving information about the activities, identities, addresses and phone numbers of various members of the embassy.
According to the news sources named above, Smith had been communicating to the Russians while working at the UK embassy in Berlin for 15 months, starting in May 2020, before being caught by the intelligence services in a sting operation in August 2021.
In conversations, Smith had allegedly said he wanted to hurt the UK and the British Embassy where he had worked for 8 years. His home address was searched and several electronic devices which held CCTV footage were found. There was also a draft letter to a Russian military attache, Colonel Sivov. The sting operation came just days after he offered to provide a book from the defence section classified as “official sensitive,” saying the colonel “might be able to make use of it.”
At the Old Bailey on 4 November, Smith pleaded guilty to eight out of nine charges under the Official Secrets Act 1911 and 1920, and now faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.