British man charged with helping Russian intelligence

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A British man has been charged with assisting Russia’s intelligence service after being arrested by UK counter-terrorism police.

Howard Michael Phillips, of Harlow, in Essex, was charged on Thursday with an offence contrary to section 3 of the National Security Act (NSA), the Metropolitan police said.

The 64-year-old appeared at Westminster magistrates court in London on Thursday afternoon and spoke to confirm his address and date of birth.

The prosecutor, Mark Luckett, said Phillips had contact with someone “who he believed were foreign powers”. He said Phillips held “sensitive information in regards to an MP”.

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

The Met said Phillips was arrested in central London on 16 May and charged a week later.

The charge was described as part of a proactive counter-terrorism policing investigation into suspected offences under the NSA.

The force added that the country to which the charge related was Russia.

The Met said: “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.”


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