Man charged with assisting Russian intelligence service in UK in counter terrorism sting

Man charged with assisting Russian intelligence service in UK in counter terrorism sting

WATCH: 'Make Putin pay': Ukrainian MP calls for allies to use Russian assets to fund Ukraine's war effort

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 23/05/2024

- 15:10

Updated: 23/05/2024

- 16:25

Howard Phillips appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday afternoon

A man has appeared in court after being charged with assisting Russian intelligence services under the National Security Act.

Howard Michael Phillips, 64, from Harlow in Essex, was charged on Thursday with an offence contrary to section 3 of the Act, after being arrested last Thursday.

The offence "relates to Russia", according to the Metropolitan Police.

Section 3 of the National Security Act outlaws assisting a foreign intelligence service.

PutinPhillips's charges "relate to Russia", the Met saidReuters

Phillips, wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon to confirm his address and date of birth.

Judge Daniel Sternberg denied Phillips bail and ordered him to appear at the Old Bailey on June 14.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: "On Thursday, May 16, a 64-year-old man was arrested in central London.

"He was arrested and detained under section 27 of the National Security Act 2023.


Metropolitan Police by Big Ben

Police confirmed they arrested Phillips under section 27 of the National Security Act


"A warrant of further detention was obtained at Westminster Magistrates' Court meaning he could be detained up until Thursday, May 23, and following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the CPS authorised the charge as above.

"As part of the investigation, which is being led by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, officers also searched an address in the Hertfordshire area and an address in the Essex area. Both searches are now complete.

"The arrest is not connected to any other recent charges or investigations linked to NSA offences, and there is not believed to be any threat to the wider public in connection with this matter."

The news follows comments by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps decrying Russian-backed activity in the UK.

In April, Shapps said: "Anyone found guilty of assisting a foreign intelligence service will be held to account.

"The UK will never be deterred from backing Ukraine by Russia’s futile attempts to shake our resolve."

And earlier this month, Britain said it would expel Russia's defence attache, remove diplomatic status from some Russian-linked properties and limit the length of Russian diplomatic visas in response to Moscow's "malign activity".

In response, the Russian embassy in London said the measures were being introduced "under a groundless and somewhat ridiculous pretext".

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