Met Police working for ‘number of months’ on case of suspected Berlin embassy spy, says Dame Cressida Dick

The man - who has only been identified as David S - was arrested in a joint operation by the German and British authorities

Police have been working for “a number of months” on the case of a British national who worked at the Berlin embassy and is suspected of spying for Russia, the head of Scotland Yard has said.

A 57-year-old security guard at the embassy was arrested in a joint operation by the German and British authorities, including the security service MI5.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said her officers were continuing to work closely with the German authorities on the investigation.

- The man - who has only been identified as David S in line with Germany’s strict privacy laws - appeared in court in Germany on Wednesday following his arrest.

- He is currently being held under German counter-espionage laws on suspicion of “intelligence agent activity”.

- Prosecutors said he was suspected of working for Russian intelligence since at least November 2020, handing over documents in return for cash on at least one occasion.

- There has been no suggestion so far that the British authorities will seek to extradite him to stand trial in the UK.

What’s been said

“We have been involved for a number of months in the Met.

“I think it’s a very good example of international co-working. We will continue to work closely with them and through the next steps.”

Dame Cressida speaking to LBC radio

“We all think now about the Russians stealing secrets by hacking and providing disinformation by social media and so on – it is a reminder that the Russians haven’t given up also on the old-fashioned ways of suborning individuals through money.”

Former national security adviser Lord Ricketts speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Background

The man is suspected of selling documents obtained during the course of his work to “a representative of a Russian intelligence service”, the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office said.

The case has led to calls from MPs for a review of the security arrangements for contractors working at UK embassies, amid fears that sensitive counter-terrorism operations may have been compromised.

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