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Criminal proceedings against Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Lars Findsen and former PET employee are dropped

All cases of leaks of state secrets have thus been closed.

The criminal cases against the former Liberal Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen, former spy chief Lars Findsen and a 63-year-old former PET employee, Jesper, will not be carried out.

This is stated by the prosecution in a press release.

Claus Hjort Frederiksen and Lars Findsen have both been charged with divulging state secrets. But rulings that there must be partially open doors in the Supreme Court mean that the prosecution has chosen to drop the cases.

– Classified information is absolutely central to the cases. Without access to present them in court, the prosecution has no opportunity to lift the burden of proof, says state attorney Jakob Berger Nielsen in a press release.

– Therefore, the prosecution has recommended to the Minister of Justice that the cases are not carried out. The minister has agreed to this, and thus the proceedings are closed.

He has been charged with breach of his duty of confidentiality under particularly aggravating circumstances.

Both of Lars Findsen’s defense lawyers are pleased with the decision to drop the case against their client:

The Supreme Court rulings made a difference

Last week, the Supreme Court decided that the cases against Claus Hjort Frederiksen and Lars Findsen should run with partially open doors.

The court also decided that Lars Findsen had to take his indictment home with him, and that Claus Hjort Frederiksen’s criminal case had to run as a jury trial.

In connection with the Supreme Court’s decision, the prosecution was allowed to postpone both cases – and today they have been dropped.

– The Supreme Court has decided that Lars Findsen will be able to take classified information home. Without requirements for how they must be stored or who has access to them. This will of course significantly increase the risk of the information being spread uncontrollably, says state attorney Jakob Berger Nielsen in the press release.

– Therefore, the Defense Intelligence Service has notified the prosecution that the classified information cannot be presented as evidence in a criminal case. A partially open trial further pulls in that direction, and the framework is thus far from the usual requirements for how to process classified information.

According to DR’s legal correspondent Trine Maria, one should not underestimate how big today’s decision is:

Attorney General: That is a problem

In the press release, the prosecution writes that it believes that in the future it will be difficult to prosecute people for breach of confidentiality if you cannot be allowed to present the secret information.

– From a law enforcement point of view, it is a problem that key evidence cannot be produced, but given the circumstances it cannot be otherwise. If the law cannot be enforced, it ultimately means that we in Denmark can effectively be left without criminal protection against breach of the duty of confidentiality regarding the country’s most confidential information, Attorney General Jan Reckendorff in the press release.

He also adds that it will require a change in the law on the part of the politicians if that situation is to change.

Arrested almost two years ago

It was back in December 2021 that PET published a press release in which it emerged that four people had been charged and arrested for leaking from the intelligence services.

One of those arrested was the now 59-year-old Lars Findsen, who ended up being imprisoned for over 70 days before he was released.

The now 63-year-old former PET employee Jesper was also arrested in December, but he was released after the constitutional hearing.

The cases against the other two arrested, who had both been with the Defense Intelligence Service (FE), were subsequently dropped.

Claus Hjort Frederiksen himself previously announced on Facebook that on 20 December he was met by two police officers in front of the residence. Here they presented him with a charge under the serious section of the Penal Code §109, which can result in up to 12 years in prison.

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