British embassy in Berlin, Germany. (AP)

Germany arrests British embassy worker suspected of spying for Russia

German police detained a British employee of the U.K. Embassy in Berlin on suspicion of spying for Russia, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The arrest took place on Tuesday, when police and members of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Germany’s equivalent of the FBI, searched the man’s home and office at the embassy, the federal prosecutor said.

The suspect, a U.K. citizen named only as David S. who was hired as local staff by the embassy, passed on written documents to a Russian intelligence worker in exchange for cash payments, German federal prosecutors said.

It is unclear how many documents the man passed on to his contact or how much money he had received, but he is suspected of having worked for Russia since at least November, prosecutors said.

The arrest, which took place in Potsdam, near Berlin, was the result of a joint German and British investigation, according to German prosecutors and a U.K. embassy spokesman.

The spokesman declined to provide any additional detail because the investigation was ongoing but praised his country’s cooperation with German authorities.

The Russian Embassy in Berlin wasn’t immediately available for a comment.

A judge at the Federal Court of Justice will interview the suspect and decide whether he should remain in pretrial detention on Wednesday.

German authorities have conducted several recent investigations into alleged Russian spying. In June, a Russian employee of a German university was detained on suspicion of having worked for a Russian spy agency.

In February 2020, an employee of a company providing technical services to the German parliament was arrested on suspicion of having supplied blueprints of government offices to a member of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency based in the Russian Embassy.

Spying charges are relatively frequent in Germany. Last year, a longstanding employee of the German government press service was arrested on suspicion of having spied for Egypt.

In 2016, a junior member of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency was sentenced by a Munich court to eight years in prison for selling information to the U.S. and offering to spy for Russia.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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