A Danish leader said Wednesday that she does not think the man who has headed both of Denmark’s intelligence agencies will hurt the service’s contacts with foreign partners by being in jail. The man has been accused of “disclosing highly classified information” about the service.
In an order handed down Monday, a court lifted a name ban on Lars Findsen, who had been detained for more than a month after being arrested with three others in early December.
It was immediately speculated that Findsen’s detention could negatively affect Denmark’s two intelligence agencies’ contacts with foreign partners and would cause a backlash against him for providing too much information to the media.
“I am also very clear about our dependence on cooperation with our allies,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. There is still room for expansion.” She called it an “extremely important case” and said it was something “we absolutely would have preferred to be without.”
Denmark’s two intelligence agencies arrested Findsen along with three other suspects on Dec. 8. While one of the other three suspects has been released, Findsen remains in custody.
Between 2002 and 2007, Findsen was the head of Denmark’s domestic security service, called PET, in Danish. From 2015 until August 2020, he was head of Denmark’s foreign intelligence service, known as FE, after the agency was heavily criticized for deliberately withholding information and for violating Danish laws.
Findsen’s detention and defense lawyer can’t discuss specifics of the case because of the sensitivity of the charges against him. The source of Findsen’s arrest is unknown and it is unclear whether it is related to his previous suspension.
Findsen’s detention was extended until Feb. 4 in a custody hearing held Monday in Copenhagen behind closed doors.