According to local media, the chief of Denmark’s foreign intelligence service has been imprisoned for a month for allegedly leaking highly confidential material.
Lars Findsen was detained and accused late last year for alleged leaks. He has called the accusations “insane” At the time, Danish officials stated four personnel of intelligence services, both current and former, had been arrested.
They were all unknown to the public until Mr Findsen appeared in court on Monday. According to Danish public broadcaster DR, which disclosed further details about the case, a publication prohibition on naming Mr Findsen was relaxed during a closed-doors session.
“I want the charges to be brought forward, and I want to plead not guilty. This is just absurd “During the hearing, Mr Findsen spoke to reporters.
All save Mr Findsen have already been released in connection with the investigation, which involves highly sensitive disclosures to Danish media, according to DR.
Mr Findsen was apprehended at Copenhagen Airport on the morning of December 8th, according to DR. According to the story, he was subsequently charged with leaking state secrets, a treasonous offense punishable by a 12-year jail sentence.
The specific allegations and substance of the alleged leaks have not been disclosed.
However, the case against Mr Findsen, who oversaw Denmark’s foreign intelligence service since 2015 and its domestic counterpart before that from 2002 to 2007, has been characterised as unusual.
Danish prosecutors and Mr Findsen’s attorneys have not commented on the matter.
Hans Jorgen Bonnichsen, the former chief of the domestic intelligence service, told DR that officials had “overreacted”
The former security officer called the situation a tragedy and warned it may jeopardize Danish cooperation with foreign intelligence services.
Since Mr Findsen’s identification, Danish MPs have requested the government to update them on the issue, which they feel has affected public trust in the country’s intelligence services. According to DR, numerous journalists have been questioned, and Mr Findsen has been held in detention until February 4th. Prior to his detention, Mr Findsen and a number of other intelligence employees had been suspended as part of a separate internal inquiry in August 2020.
An independent intelligence watchdog accused Danish intelligence of significant misbehavior that year, including suspicions that Danish intelligence coordinated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on private Danish residents.
The issue was probed by a panel, which dismissed the claims and vindicated Mr Findsen, lifting his suspension.