Catalogue description John Herbert KING, alias 'MAG': British. King was a British Foreign Office (FO) cypher...

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Details of KV 2/815
Reference: KV 2/815

John Herbert KING, alias 'MAG': British. King was a British Foreign Office (FO) cypher clerk who provided FO telegraphic traffic to the Russian Intelligence Service between 1935 and 1937. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment as a spy in October 1939. KING had been recruited into the FO as a temporary clerk in 1934 and sent on temporary duty to the British Delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva. There, having financial problems, he was identified as a potential spy by the Dutch RIS 'illegal' agent Henri PIECK. PIECK recruited him, pretending the information he gave was for the commercial advantage of a Dutch bank. KING returned to London in early 1935. PIECK continued to run the case by visits to London until 1936, when security concerns caused the Russians to transfer control of the case to Theodor MALY. KING continued to pass copies of Foreign Office telegraphic traffic to MALY until June 1937, when MALY was recalled to Moscow. In September 1939 KRIVITSKY passed KING's name as an RIS spy to the British Embassy in Washington. Coincidentally a business associate of PIECK's in London reported suspicious activities by him and described a man like KING who had given information to PIECK. Interrogation of KING resulted in a confession

Note: Vol 1 destroyed
Date: 1940 Jul 01-1950 May 01
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: PF47813 VOL 2
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: file(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Access conditions: Retained Until 2002
Record opening date: 01 May 2002

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