Danish court convicts separatist group of spying

AFP – A Danish court yesterday convicted three leaders of an Iranian Arab separatist group based in the Scandinavian country of spying on behalf of Saudi intelligence between 2012 and 2020.

The three, aged 40 to 51 and one of whom is of Danish nationality, are members of the separatist organization ASMLA (Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz), which Iran considers a terrorist group.

Their sentencing will be announced in March. They risk up to 12 years in prison.

After a lengthy trial held behind closed doors, the court in Roskilde found the trio guilty of “gathering information about individuals and organisations, in Denmark and abroad, as well as the cases Iranian military, and transmitted this information to a Saudi intelligence service”.

The trio was also found guilty of “promoting terrorism” for supporting the activities of the armed wing of ASMLA.

The jury concluded that “the actions and attacks of these movements are terrorist attacks that go beyond the limits of the legitimate struggle for freedom”.

They were also found guilty of “financing and attempting to finance terrorism”, for having received NOK 15 million from an intelligence agency as well as for trying to obtain an additional NOK 15 million from the same source.

The money was intended to fund the activities of ASMLA, the court found.

Armed police patrol the courtroom specially built by Roskilde in the town of Herfoelge. PHOTO: AFP

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