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September 30, 2023
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Depression and drinking no excuse for ‘treachery’, UK embassy spy told

Court hears David Ballantyne Smith sought to downplay his handing over of secrets to Russians in Berlin

A British embassy security guard caught spying for Russia has been told by a judge that his depression and drinking were no excuse for the “treachery” to his country.

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, originally from Paisley in Scotland, gathered secret documents and passed them on to Russian authorities while working as a security guard at the embassy in Berlin. He was caught after an undercover operation in 2021 and has admitted to eight charges under the Official Secrets Act.

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