Five Bulgarian nationals were remanded in custody as they appeared before a London court on Tuesday charged with spying for Russia.
The three men and two women attended Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link, speaking only to confirm their names and dates of birth.
They are each 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.”
The alleged offences are said to have occurred between August 30, 2020 and February 8 last year.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram remanded the five in custody until a further hearing in the case at the Old Bailey court on October 13.
The five -- Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 42, Katrin Ivanova, 32, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29 -- were arrested by counter terrorism police in February under the Official Secrets Act.
Roussev, Dzhambazov and Ivanova were previously charged with “possession of false identity documents with improper intention.”