Two men accused of being Chinese spies appear in London court
Two men accused of being Chinese spies appear in London court
Two men accused of being Chinese spies appear in London court
by DZRH News27 April 2024
Christopher Berry, 32, who has been charged with spying for China, arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London, Britain, April 26, 2024. REUTERS/Hollie Adams

LONDON (Reuters) - Two men accused of spying for China, including a former researcher for a prominent British lawmaker in the governing Conservative Party, appeared in a London court on Friday.

The two, ex-researcher Christopher Cash, 29, and Christopher Berry, 32, are charged with providing prejudicial information to China in breach of the Official Secrets Act.

Cash and Berry appeared at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court for a brief hearing where they spoke only to confirm their names and addresses. They did not enter a plea.

Both were released on bail until a hearing at London's Old Bailey court on May 10. Cash was told by Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring that he must not contact any lawmakers, save for his local representative and only about local issues. He was also told not to contact any other parliamentary staff.


Anxiety has mounted across Europe about China’s alleged espionage activity - which Beijing has repeatedly denied - and Britain has become increasingly vocal about its concerns in recent months.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that reports of Chinese espionage in Europe were "hype" and "intended to discredit and suppress China".

In September, the Sunday Times newspaper reported that Cash had been arrested for spying while working as a researcher in parliament for Conservative lawmaker Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

At the time, a lawyer for the arrested man issued a statement denying the accusations of spying without confirming the identity of their client.


A Christopher Cash was listed in parliamentary documents from early 2023 as working for Kearns.

In a speech this week in Warsaw, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak labelled China as being part of an "axis of authoritarian states" along with Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

"Chinese state-affiliated actors have conducted malicious cyber campaigns against British MPs (members of parliament)."

Last month, the British government summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in London after accusing Chinese state-backed hackers of stealing data from Britain's elections watchdog and carrying out a surveillance operation against parliamentarians.


China denied those allegations, calling them "completely fabricated".

The government also said in September Chinese spies were targeting British officials in sensitive positions in politics, defence and business as part of an increasingly sophisticated spying operation to gain access to secrets.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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