UK Charges Two Men with Espionage for China

UK Charges Two Men with Espionage for China
Credit: Courtesy of Oxford Mail: Delivering local stories that resonate.

London (Parliament News) – Two men in the UK, including a parliamentary researcher, are charged with espionage for allegedly providing prejudicial information to China. They are set to appear in court on Friday.

A parliamentary researcher who was apprehended last year on suspicion of spying for China has been indicted along with another man with espionage offences. Christopher Cash, 29, who had credentials to parliament through his work for an organisation set up by Conservative MPs, is to occur in court on Friday after he and Christopher Berry, 32, were arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

According to the Guardian, the men are blamed for providing prejudicial information to a foreign state, China, the Crown Prosecution Service stated in a statement on Monday.

Police apprehended the two men on 13 March 2023 at addresses in Oxfordshire and Edinburgh as part of an inquiry. They were subsequently discharged on bail and will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday.

What are the accusations against Christopher Cash?

Cash, of Whitechapel, east London, is indicted of obtaining, collecting, recording, printing or communicating notes, documents or information “estimated to be, might be, or were planned to be, directly or indirectly, reasonable to an enemy” between 20 January 2022 and 3 February 2023.

What charges does Christopher Berry face?

Berry, of Witney in Oxfordshire, is charged with committing the same offence – under section 1(1)(c) of the Official Secrets Act 1911 – between 28 December 2021 and 3 February 2023.

The foreign nation to which the above charges link is China, the Metropolitan police said in a statement.

How complex was the investigation into espionage?

Commander Dominic Murphy, the head of the counter-terrorism command, stated: “This has been an extremely complex investigation into what are very serious allegations. We’ve worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service as our investigation has progressed and this has led to the two men being charged today.

“We’re aware there has been a degree of public and media interest in this case, but we would ask others to refrain from any further comment or speculation so that the criminal justice process can now run its course,” he added.

What is China’s response to the charges?

China’s embassy in the UK has disregarded the charges as a “self-staged political farce”.

An embassy spokesperson stated: “The Chinese embassy made [a] relevant response on 10 September 2023.

“I would like to reaffirm that the claim that China is suspected of ‘stealing British intelligence’ is completely fabricated and nothing but malicious slander. “We firmly oppose it and urge the UK side to stop anti-China political manipulation and stop putting on such self-staged political farce.”

What organizations were Christopher Cash affiliated with?

Cash had been operating for the China Research Group, an organisation co-founded by Tom Tugendhat, now the security minister. He reportedly performed for the British Council in the Chinese city of Hangzhou for two years and has a master’s degree from the Lau China Institute, a Centre for the Study of China, at King’s College London.

The China Research Group was developed by MPs with the stated aim of “promoting fresh considering about how Britain should respond to the rise of China”.

Nick Price, the director of the CPS special crime and counter-terrorism division, said it had “authorised the Metropolitan police to charge two men with espionage offences”.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.