Danish intelligence chief held over suspected information leaks -media reports

The head of Denmark's foreign intelligence unit, Lars Findsen, has been remanded in custody over his involvement in a case of "highly classified" information leaks, public broadcaster DR reported on Monday. Denmark's two intelligence services have been thrown into disarray since four current and former employees were detained in December over allegations of leaking highly classified information, a case that could bruise the agencies' reputation abroad.


Reuters | Updated: 10-01-2022 23:14 IST | Created: 10-01-2022 23:14 IST
Danish intelligence chief held over suspected information leaks -media reports

The head of Denmark's foreign intelligence unit, Lars Findsen, has been remanded in custody over his involvement in a case of "highly classified" information leaks, public broadcaster DR reported on Monday.

Denmark's two intelligence services have been thrown into disarray since four current and former employees were detained in December over allegations of leaking highly classified information, a case that could bruise the agencies' reputation abroad. Findsen is the only one who remains in custody while the investigation continues. The news, reported by DR and other local media, emerged at a court hearing on Monday when a publication ban was lifted.

"I want the charges brought forward and I plead not guilty. This is completely insane," Findsen told reporters at the hearing, where a judge decided to extend Findsen's custody until Feb. 4, according to newswire Ritzau. The public prosecutor's office declined to comment on the case and Reuters was not immediately able to contact Findsen or his lawyer.

The case, about which authorities have published very little information, is being conducted behind closed doors, meaning that the exact charges and nature of the leaked information has not been made public. The four intelligence officials have been charged with violating a section of the penal code, which includes treason, by "having imparted highly classified information," the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) told Reuters on Monday.

Highly classified information can cause Denmark or the countries in the European Union or NATO "serious or extremely serious damage" if the information is passed on, it said. The maximum penalty for such an offence is 12 years in prison.

According to DR, which cited unnamed sources, the case revolves around leaks of classified information to Danish media outlets. DR reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-denmark-defence-idUSKBN25O1XP in 2020 that the Danish Defence Intelligence Service had shared raw data from information cables with the U.S. National Security Agency, meaning the NSA may have had access to Danish citizens' personal data and private communications.

Last year, several other domestic media outlets published reports about Danish intelligence activities based on confidential information. In a separate case, Findsen and four other intelligence officials were suspended in August 2020 after an independent board overseeing the intelligence unit made accusations of serious wrongdoing. Last month those accusations were rebuffed by an investigating commission, and the suspensions were lifted.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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