Germany arrest alleged Russian spy at UK embassy in Berlin

Aug 10, 2021, 3:04 PM | Updated: Aug 11, 2021, 9:40 am

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has arrested a British citizen on suspicion of spying for Russia while working at the British Embassy in Berlin, officials said Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors said in a statement that the man was detained on Tuesday in the city of Potsdam southwest of the capital based on cooperative investigations by German and British authorities. In keeping with German privacy laws, he was only identified as David S.

Prosecutors said he is suspected of having spied for the Russian intelligence service at least since November. Before his arrest, he worked as a local hire at the British Embassy in the German capital and allegedly passed on documents he received at work to the Russians, the prosecutors’ statement said.

It’s unlikely the suspect had diplomatic immunity because in such a case he would have normally been expelled from the country instead of being detained.

The federal prosecutor’s office said later on Wednesday, when reached by phone, it could not give any further details on the case because of the ongoing investigation and the man’s privacy rights.

Germany’s foreign minister said the government is closely following the case.

“We take the information that the detained person’s intelligence activity was carried out on behalf of a Russian intelligence agency extremely seriously,” Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin.

“Spying on a close ally on German soil is absolutely unacceptable and we are in full solidarity with our British friends,” he said. “We will be following the federal prosecutors’ further investigations very closely. And where that’s desired, necessary and possible, we will also support them.”

The Russian Embassy in Berlin declined to comment Wednesday on reports about the arrest, the Interfax news agency reported. The embassy “currently does not have any official information from the German side on this issue,” Interfax quoted the embassy’s spokespeople as saying.

The British government provided few details about the embassy worker, saying that “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,” the statement said.

Britain’s Metropolitan Police said in a separate statement that “the man was arrested in the Berlin area on suspicion of committing offenses relating to being engaged in ‘Intelligence Agent activity’.”

“Primacy for the investigation remains with German authorities,” the Met statement, while “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.

German prosecutors said the suspect received an unknown amount of cash in return for his alleged spying activities. Investigators have searched his home and office, the statement added.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the man to remain under arrest pending further investigation.

During the Cold War, Berlin was often dubbed as “the capital of spies” because the city was on the frontlines of the confrontation between the Soviets in the East and the Americans and their western allies in the West. Intelligence agents were active on both sides of the divided city and sometimes — after some espionage agents were caught — there were infamous cloak-and-dagger exchanges of captured spies on the Glienicker Bridge.

However, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the unification of Germany a year later, and the end of the Cold War, espionage activities in Berlin have supposedly abated.

___

Frank Jordans in Berlin, Danica Kirka and Panagiotis Pylas in London, and Daria Litvinova in Moscow contributed reporting.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian attend the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards on Nov. 6, 20...
Associated Press

Kim Kardashian, Ye reach divorce settlement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month, court documents filed Tuesday showed. The former couple and their attorneys filed documents asking for a judge’s approval of terms they have agreed on, including $200,000 per month child support […]
16 hours ago
Kroger CEO William Rodney McMullen speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Pol...
Associated Press

US lawmakers skeptical grocery merger will mean lower prices

U.S. senators from both parties expressed skepticism Tuesday that a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons would result in lower prices for consumers. “Fewer local options mean less competition to keep prices low,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat, in a hearing before the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Padilla […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares speaks during an inaugural celebration on Jan. 15, 2...
Associated Press

NAACP: ‘Scant’ info in records about election integrity unit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia NAACP said Tuesday it was “deeply disappointed” after receiving “scant” information of substance in response to a wide-ranging public records request it made with the state’s Republican attorney general about his new election integrity unit. After expressing concerns that the unit could lend credence to election-fraud conspiracies, the civil […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Seattle man tried to join Islamic State group, gets 4 years

SEATTLE (AP) — A 22-year-old Seattle man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison after being arrested while trying to board a flight to join the Islamic State group last year. Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams was arrested at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as he checked in for a flight to Cairo and later pleaded guilty […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Finland says it must ensure Ukraine wins war against Russia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Finland’s leader says it must give more weapons and support to Ukraine to ensure it wins its war against Russia. Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the comments Wednesday in Auckland on the first-ever visit by a Finnish prime minister to New Zealand and Australia. Among the aims of the visit […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman believed to be 1971 kidnap victim reunites with family

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A woman who family members believe was the toddler kidnapped by a babysitter 51 years ago has been reunited with her family in Texas, in a meeting filled with long-overdue hugs and joyful tears. Melissa Highsmith was 22 months old when she was abducted by a purported babysitter in 1971. […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Germany arrest alleged Russian spy at UK embassy in Berlin