Danish Spy Chief Arrested on Alleged Treason Charges Over Data Leaks
The head of Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE), Lars Findsen, the country’s top spy, has been in police custody for over a month after allegations that several current and former employees had leaked sensitive data.
The spy chief is one of four current and former employees of the FE to have been arrested in connection with the alleged data leaks and has been in custody for over a month, but a publication ban on the case was not lifted by the Danish court until Monday. The hearing took place behind closed doors.
A Danish Police Intelligence (PET) investigation led to the arrest of Findsen and three others on December 8th but the exact details of the leaks are unknown as the case has been shrouded in secrecy due to publication bans, broadcaster DR reports.
According to the Swedish broadcaster SVT, Findsen is facing possible charges of treason in relation to the case. Findsen is said to have allowed his name to become public and commented to reporters at the court hearing on Monday saying, “I want the charges brought forward and I plead not guilty. This is completely insane.”
The case is believed to have stemmed from an August 2020 report from an independent supervisory body that criticised the FE and led to media scrutiny of the agency, specifically an article published in the newspaper Berlingske which alleged the FE had partnered with the American National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Danish citizens and European leaders.
Denmark Helped Obama Administration Spy on Merkel’s Germany: Report https://t.co/XsvORMoWFQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 2, 2021
Last year, it was revealed that Danish intelligence cooperated with the NSA under the administration of former President Barack Obama after allegedly granting the NSDA access to Danish internet cables.
The surveillance is believed to have targetted several European leaders including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and current German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier as he served in his former role as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The PET is also believed to have investigated possible leaks involving Danish citizen Ahmed Samsam, who is subject to a terrorism case.
Berlingske reported in January of 2020 that Samam had allegedly been in the service of Danish intelligence while a member of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, citing anonymous sources at the time.