London finds army corporal guilty of spying for Iran

Iran Materials 5 November 2008 22:22 (UTC +04:00)

An Iranian-born army interpreter who worked for Britain's top general in Afghanistan was Wednesday found guilty of spying for Iran by a court in London, dpa reported.

Daniel James, 45, was working for General David Richards, the then head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, when he was arrested in December 2006.

On Wednesday, a jury at London's Old Bailey Criminal Court found him guilty of "communicating information to an enemy," the most serious of three charges he faced under Britain's Official Secrets Act.

The court heard that James, a corporal in the Territorial Army, had access to the highest echelons of the NATO mission in Kabul from where he sent coded messages to an Iranian military assistant in the city, telling him: "I am at your service."

Prosecutor Mark Dennis described James' activities as "the height of betrayal."

"His treachery could have cost the lives of British soldiers," said Dennis.

However, James' activities had been "nipped in the bud" with his arrest only two months after befriending his contact at Tehran's embassy in Kabul.

Jurors at the Old Bailey trial adjourned deliberations on two further charges laid against James until Thursday, when sentences are likely to be passed.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "We have noted the verdict of the court in this case. In line with normal procedures the Army will now be discharging Corporal James from the Territorial Army."