Wednesday, January 19

The head of the Armed Forces’ intelligence service in Denmark has been imprisoned

Lars Findsen has been imprisoned for over a month.

It is the Armed Forces’ intelligence service (FE) that is affected by what appears to be a solid intelligence scandal. The service is headquartered in the fortress complex Kastellet in Copenhagen.

During a court hearing on Monday, a name ban was lifted. Thus, it became public knowledge that Lars Findsen, the head of the Armed Forces’ Intelligence Service (FE) in Denmark, is imprisoned.

According to the Danish newspaper Politiken, he has been in prison for a month. He is charged under section 109 of the Danish Penal Code, for having disclosed “the state’s secret negotiations, deliberations or decisions” with foreign states, writes Politics.

The newspaper writes that Findsen and three others are said to have passed on highly classified information from the intelligence services.

The section has not been used for more than 40 years. It is in a part of the law that also deals with treason and espionage. The sentence is 12 years, writes Politiken.

The newspaper states that it is “without historical parallel here at home, and even in an international context it is extremely spectacular”.

It was Findsen’s lawyers who asked for the name ban to be lifted.

Lars Findsen is head of the Danish Armed Forces’ intelligence service.

The Danish 57-year-old spy chief was arrested on December 8 and has since been in custody. The media has not been able to write about it, due to the name ban in court.

Lars Findsen was appointed head of the Police Intelligence Service (PET) shortly after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. In 2007, he became head of the Ministry of Defense. In 2015, he became head of the Armed Forces’ intelligence service.

Four suspects

According to Politiken, he has therefore for two decades been a permanent member of the government’s security committee, and discussed the Danish state’s most secret matters.

He is said to have revealed some of these, but it is not known what Findsen specifically did.

PET is said to have investigated the case for a long time. And they have been investigating their own. There will be three other former and current employees in PET and FE involved. In total, four are charged in the case.

According to the newspaper, PET has both monitored one of the accused and made several searches during the investigation.

Has questioned journalists

Politiken writes that PET boss Finn Borch Andersen and the current FE boss Svend Larsen traveled from media house to media house in December. There they informed that the media could also be punished for writing about confidential information.

Then there must have been three cases.

  • A case about Danish Ahmed Samsam, who was convicted of terrorism in Spain, but who according to the newspaper Berlingske was in fact sent on assignment for Danish intelligence.
  • Another issue will be Ekstra Bladet’s coverage of the situation for Danish women and children in Syrian prison camps.
  • The third case is about Denmark’s cooperation with the National Security Agency in the USA.

All cases are based in part on confidential information. Eight journalists are said to have been summoned for questioning by the police after writing about the cases, writes Politiken.

“A scandal of almost unmanageable dimensions has been bubbling in the Danish intelligence world for weeks,” the newspaper writes Berlingske.

Findsen’s specific role is still unclear.

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