David Ballantyne Smith admitted spying however claimed he was pushed by melancholy and a want to “educate the embassy a lesson” as a result of he felt badly handled at work.
“He was paid for his treachery, and he was motivated by his antipathy in direction of this nation and meant to wreck this nation’s pursuits by appearing as he did,” Wall mentioned.
Passing sentence at London’s Central Prison Court docket, the decide mentioned Smith’s actions had “probably catastrophic penalties for others.”
He sentenced Smith to 13 years and two months in jail for eight breaches of the Official Secrets and techniques Act.
Smith, 58, gave the Russian Embassy in Germany’s capital details about the actions, identities, addresses and cellphone numbers of British officers, prosecutors mentioned.
Smith additionally collected intelligence on the operation and structure of the British Embassy, which prosecutors mentioned can be helpful to “an enemy, specifically the Russian state”.
The decide mentioned Smith despatched the Russians images of U.Okay. embassy workers with annotated descriptions that put them at “most threat”.
Prosecutors say the previous Royal Air Power member had expressed sympathy with Russian authorities and consumed on-line conspiracy theories and pro-Russia propaganda.
They mentioned Smith had inside his locker at work a cartoon of Putin along with his fingers round former German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform – reflecting the kind of false narrative Russia has used to justify its invasion of Ukraine.
German police arrested Smith at his house close to Berlin in August 2021 after a sting operation carried out with British intelligence officers that included undercover operatives posing as a Russian defector and a Russian spy.
He was extradited to the U.Okay. in April 2022.
Nick Value of the Crown Prosecution Service mentioned Smith had “abused his place within the British Embassy in Berlin” to hold out “an assault on our nation.”
“His actions weren’t simply pushed by cash and greed,” Value mentioned. “On a number of events, he expressed a powerful dislike in direction of the U.Okay. and Germany and expressed sympathy with the Russian authorities. These beliefs might have precipitated additional harm had Smith not been found and prosecuted.”
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