MI6 spy accused of stealing secrets

A former spy appeared in court today accused of stealing and disclosing top secret material.

Daniel Houghton, 25, who was arrested on Monday at a central London hotel, worked for the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, between September 2007 and May last year.



Houghton is accused of stealing the material and a second charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act by disclosing the files on Monday.



Prosecutor Piers Arnold outlined details of the case against Houghton during a 20-minute hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.



Houghton, of Finsbury Park, north London, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.



Wearing a white long-sleeved police issue T-shirt and jeans, he nodded at family members in the public gallery during the hearing.



The court heard that he is a single man with dual British and Dutch nationality and lives in a shared rented flat.



District Judge Timothy Workman remanded Houghton in custody and adjourned the case until March 11 at the same court.



Solicitor Wayne Cleaver, who represented Houghton, made no application for bail.



The two detailed charges Houghton faced were:



* Between September 1, 2007, and May 31, 2009, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court you stole property, namely a number of electronic files containing techniques for intelligence collection, belonging to the British Security Service, contrary to section 1(1) Theft Act 1968.



* On March 1, 2010, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, being a person who has been a member of the security and intelligence services, without lawful authority you disclosed articles relating to security or intelligence, namely a number of electronic files containing techniques for intelligence collection, which were in your possession by virtue of your position as a former member of the British Secret Intelligence Service, contrary to section 1(1) Official Secrets Act 1989.