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Germany arrests Briton suspected of ‘spying for Russia’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows British embassy in Berlin.

A British embassy worker has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Russia, following a joint operation by German and British authorities.

The German public prosecutor said in a statement on Wednesday that the Briton—identified as David S.—was arrested in Potsdam, a city on the border of Berlin, a day earlier after he allegedly passed documents to the Russian intelligence service in exchange for cash.

"On at least one occasion, he passed on documents he had obtained in the course of his professional activities to a representative of a Russian intelligence service," the statement said.

"The accused received cash in an as yet unknown amount in return for his transmission of information," it added.

According to the prosecutors, the apartment and workplace of the suspect had been searched and he would be brought before an investigating judge later in the day who will decide whether he will be remanded in custody.

The statement further said David S., who was employed as a local staff member at the British embassy in Berlin until his arrest, was believed to have been spying since November 2020 "at the latest."

He was apprehended Tuesday on an arrest warrant issued on August 4.

Germany has arrested a number of people in recent years over alleged involvement in espionage activities in favor of Russia.

In June, German police arrested a Russian scientist working at an unidentified university, accusing him of spying for Russian secret service since early October 2020 at the latest.

The latest development is expected to stoke tensions between Berlin and Moscow which are already at loggerheads over a range of issues, including the conflict in Ukraine, an alleged cyber attack on the German federal parliament in 2015 and the purported poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Back in December 2020, Russia blacklisted Germany's top security and intelligence officials and barred them from entering the country in response to restrictive measures imposed by the European Union over the above-mentioned cases.

Moscow also summoned at the time top diplomats from Germany, France and Sweden to the Russian Foreign Ministry in "connection with the introduction of EU anti-Russian sanctions."

The Kremlin is yet to respond to the latest arrest and the espionage charges also implicating Russian intelligence forces.

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