The trial of 5 Bulgarians accused of being a part of a Russian spy ring in Britain will look at as much as 80,000 messages, a court docket has heard.
Three males and two girls are alleged to be a part of a “community” conducting surveillance on behalf of the Russian state.
Bulgarian nationals Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, are charged with conspiring to gather info supposed to be immediately or not directly helpful to an enemy for a function prejudicial to the protection and curiosity of the state between August 30 2020 and February 8 2023.
They appeared on the Outdated Bailey on Friday by way of video hyperlink from prisons together with HMP Belmarsh, HMP Frankland and girls’s jail HMP Bronzefield.
They spoke solely to substantiate their names and dates of delivery on the preliminary listening to.
Choose Mr Justice Jeremy Baker estimated the trial may final “at the least six weeks”, however Stephen Kamlish KC, defence counsel for Roussev, prompt it may require longer as a result of “huge” quantity of proof to contemplate – together with 80,000 messages. A trial date has not but been set.
The defendants had been arrested by the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command in February beneath the Official Secrets and techniques Act.
Roussev, Dzhambazov and Ivanova had been charged on 11 February 2023 with possession of false id paperwork with improper intention beneath part 4 of the Id Paperwork Act 2010.
All 5 had been arrested in February this 12 months for alleged offences opposite to the Official Secrets and techniques Act.
Westminsters Magistrates’ Court docket heard final month that the group was accused of being a part of a surveillance community allegedly coordinated within the UK.
The defendants are accused of conspiring to gather info with “one other particular person referred to as Jan Marsalek and others unknown”.
Mr Marsalek was the Austrian former chief working officer of the corporate Wirecard, who grew to become a needed man in Germany after being suspected of getting dedicated fraud.
Mr Stoyanov is claimed to be an beginner blended martial arts fighter who appeared in contests within the UK. Ms Gaberova is an award-winning beautician and Mr Roussev beforehand labored in monetary companies.
Mr Dhzambazov and Ms Ivanova lived as a pair and ran a group organisation for Bulgarian residents dwelling within the UK.
The defendants had been remanded in custody till the following listening to on the Outdated Bailey on 10 November.