news agency said Daniel Houghton had appeared at Westminster magistrate’s court to face a charge of theft and the more serious one of breaking Britain’s Official Secrets Act.
The Reuters report, quoting the court’s charge sheet, said between September 2007 and May 2009 Houghton stole "a number of electronic files containing techniques for intelligence collection," used by the MI5, Britain’s counter-intelligence service.
Houghton had tried to sell them to an unnamed foreign intelligence service. He further was accused of doing so ”without lawful authority.”
The Evening Standard
added that the files in question had the highest classified rating.
The former agent was arrested at a hotel in central London on Monday after a joint undercover operation between Scotland Yard and secret service agents.
Houghton has been remanded in custody and will appear again on 11. March.