The OId Bailey has learned that a sting operation resulted in the capture of a Russian spy at the British embassy in Berlin.
The 58-year-old British security guard David Ballantyne Smith gave Russian authorities access to classified information while he was employed there.
The court heard testimony about how his arrest in August 2021 was made possible by two fictitious Russian agents working undercover.
Smith, according to the prosecution, had strong anti-UK sentiments and was paid for information.
Smith admitted guilt to eight charges last year, and now he is back in court to defend his actions.
He claims that while having mental health issues and not being paid, he was motivated by a workplace grievance.
When he was escorted into the British embassy by Smith on August 5, 2021, one undercover agent pretended to be a "walk-in" Russian informant by the name of "Dmitry," according to evidence presented at the Old Bailey.
Following that, Smith could be seen on the CCTV system taking the earlier video of Dmitry.
"The defense alleges he. because he has taken the recordings with the intention of passing that information on, he is aware of the potential significance of the Dmitry incident, Alison Morgan KC told the court.
He was approached by a second undercover agent who introduced herself as "Irina," a Russian intelligence officer.
Irina was sent out to pretend to be a GRU agent in order to investigate whether Dmitry was giving the UK information that could be harmful to Russia, according to Ms. Morgan.
In a covert recording, Smith appeared cautious and told Irina that he needed to talk to "someone" first.
A letter Smith wrote to a military employee at the Russian Embassy in Berlin in November 2020 served as the impetus for the undercover operation.
Smith, according to the prosecution, favored Russia and its rulers in exchange for information and financial compensation.
They claim there were missing funds, including 700 pounds ($800) in cash discovered at his Potsdam home.
Smith asserted that his only goal was to "inconvenience and embarrass" the embassy, where he had worked since 2016. Smith denied selling secrets to Russia for cash.
His intentional contact with the Russian government, which included sharing sensitive and confidential information, according to the prosecution, demonstrated a desire to harm British interests.
His apartment was searched, and travel documents and sheets of unprinted embassy stationary were taken.
A Russian Federation flag, a Soviet military hat, a toy Lada car, and a Russian plush Rottweiler dog wearing a military hat were all captured on camera at that location.
A cartoon of the Russian president Vladimir Putin holding the head of the former German chancellor Angela Merkel was found in his locker at work.
Smith, a Scotsman by birth, was detained at Heathrow on 6 April of last year after being extradited for violating the Official Secrets Act.
By engaging in conduct detrimental to the security or interests of the state, Smith pleaded guilty to eight charges brought under the Official Secrets Act in November of last year.
On Friday, Smith will receive a sentence at the Old Bailey.