5 Bulgarians charged with spying for Russia appear by video in UK court

US

LONDON (AP) — Five Bulgarians living in the U.K. who were charged with spying for Russia appeared Tuesday in court…

LONDON (AP) — Five Bulgarians living in the U.K. who were charged with spying for Russia appeared Tuesday in court for a brief hearing.

The three men and two women were accused of “conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy,” namely Russia, between August 2020 and February this year.

The five are alleged to be part of a network conducting surveillance on behalf of Russia. Much of the activity took place abroad, but coordination took place in the U.K., prosecutors said.

The five — Orlin Roussev, 45;, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41; Katrin Ivanova, 31; Ivan Stoyanov, 31; and Vanya Gaberova, 29 — appeared Tuesday by video at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, speaking only to confirm basic details.

The suspects were arrested by the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism officers in February under the Official Secrets Act.

Roussev, Dzhambazov, and Ivanova were charged in February with having false identity documents, but news about them did not emerge until August.

The three are accused of possessing 34 ID documents, some of which were suspected to be false, from the U.K., Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and the Czech Republic.

All five were remanded into custody until their next appearance at the Central Criminal Court on Oct. 13.

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