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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 for Saudi intelligence between 2012 and 2020.

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

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

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

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

The jury found that “the actions and attacks of these movements are terrorist attacks which exceed the limits of legitimate freedom fighting”.

They were also convicted of “financing and attempted financing of terrorism”, for having received NOK15 million from an intelligence agency as well as having tried to obtain another NOK15 million from the same source.

The money was aimed at financing ASMLA’s activities, the court found.

Armed police officers patrol the court of Roskilde’s specially built courtroom in the City of Herfoelge. PHOTO: AFP