Five suspected spies for Russia have appeared in court accused of plotting to gather information that would be useful to an enemy.
The three men and two women, who are all Bulgarian nationals, were remanded in custody by Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Orlin Roussev, 45, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, of Harrow, northwest London; Katrin Ivanova, 31, of the same Harrow address; Ivan Stoyanov, 31, from Greenford, west London; and Vanya Gaberova, 29, from Churchway, northwest London, all appeared by videolink.
They are all charged with conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state between 30 August 2020 and 8 February 2023.
The five are alleged to be part of a “network” conducting surveillance on behalf of the Russian state, the court heard.
The defendants spoke only to confirm they could see and hear the court, and to state their names and dates of birth during the brief hearing.
They will next appear at the Old Bailey on 13 October.
All five were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command in February under the Official Secrets Act.
Roussev, Dzhambazov and Ivanova were previously charged on February 11 2023 with possession of false identity documents with improper intention under section 4 of the Identity Documents Act 2010.