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Spy agency chief charged over top-secret leaks — Analysis

Denmark’s former defense intel chief has been indicted for allegedly revealing state secrets

Prosecutors in Denmark have formally charged the country’s former foreign intelligence chief, Lars Findsen, with leaking highly classified state secrets to six people, including two journalists.

Findsen, who was suspended from his job as head of the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) in August 2020, faces a six-count indictment in Viborg, according to a statement by Denmark’s Police Intelligence Service (PET). Prosecutors are pursuing the case at a magistrate level, suggesting that Findsen would be sentenced to less than four years in prison if he’s convicted, and they will seek to keep any trial behind closed doors.

According to PET, the leaks took place over 16-17 months. Findsen, who had been the head of the FE from 2015 to 2017, previously headed domestic intelligence and was director for PET between 2002 and 2007. Last December, Findsen was arrested along with four others in connection to an investigation into a “long and extensive”PET and East Jutland Police are investigating.

“It is of course serious when secrets or other confidential information that is essential for the intelligence services’ work to protect Denmark’s security is passed on to unauthorized persons,” said Jacob Berger Nielsen, state attorney in Viborg. “It carries a risk of further spread to a wider public. It can damage the relationship with the intelligence services’ partners, and it can make it more difficult for them to carry out their work if their working methods are revealed.” 




Danish officials are not open to discussing the information Findsen is alleged to have leaked. They only know that it was classified. The six alleged recipients of the information weren’t identified.

Findsen had been involved in a previous scandal when it was claimed that the FE unjustifiably spied on Danish citizens, and withheld information intended to hinder proper supervision of the intelligence agency.

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