Two British Men Charged with Spying for China

Two British men, Christopher Cash and Christopher Berry, have been charged with spying for China under the Official Secrets Act. They were released on bail with strict conditions and are scheduled to stand trial in May 2025.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Two British Men Charged with Spying for China

Two British Men Charged with Spying for China

Christopher Cash, 29, and Christopher Berry, 32, have been charged with spying for China under the Official Secrets Act. The two British men were arrested and appeared at the Old Bailey court in London, where they confirmed their identities and were released on bail with strict conditions, including not traveling abroad.

Why this matters: This case highlights the ongoing concerns and investigations into alleged espionage activities on behalf of China within the United Kingdom, which has significant implications for national security and international relations. The charges against Cash and Berry also underscore the need for vigilance in protecting sensitive information and the potential risks of foreign interference in domestic politics.

Cash, a former parliamentary researcher from Whitechapel in east London, and Berry are accused of obtaining, collecting, recording, publishing, or communicating information that would be useful to China between December 2021 and February 2023. Cash previously worked for members of the governing Conservative Party and was director of the China Research Group. Berry's occupation and background were not specified.

The charges against Cash and Berry follow an investigation by counter-terrorism police in London and Oxfordshire. "The two defendants are charged with a single offence of spying, contrary to section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911," stated prosecutor Tom Little KC during the preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday.

The two men did not enter pleas during the hearing. They were freed on conditional bail, with restrictions including not contacting MPs or Parliamentary staffers, not entering the Parliamentary estate (for Cash), not traveling outside the UK, not contacting each other, signing on at a police station, and notifying police of any internet-enabled devices they intend to use.

The trial is scheduled to take place no earlier than May 2025, with a further hearing set for October 4, 2024. The case may be heard at the Old Bailey, Kingston Crown Court, or Woolwich Crown Court. Christopher Cash denies the charges against him, while Beijing has strongly denied the espionage allegations.

The charges against Christopher Cash and Christopher Berry under the Official Secrets Act underscore the gravity of the allegations. As the criminal justice process unfolds, authorities have urged others to refrain from comment or speculation to avoid prejudicing the upcoming trial. The case highlights the ongoing concerns and investigations into alleged espionage activities on behalf of China within the United Kingdom.