Former Danish defense minister charged with state secret leaks

i24NEWS - Reuters

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Danish Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen speaks to reporters, at the Christianborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 10, 2011.
MARIE HALD / SCANPIX DENMARK / AFPDanish Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen speaks to reporters, at the Christianborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 10, 2011.

Frederiksen is charged with section 109 of the penal code

Denmark's former defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Friday he was charged with a violation of the penal code, including treason for leaking state secrets.

Frederiksen, who served as defense minister from 2016 to 2019, was charged with section 109 of the code, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

It was not clear exactly what he was accused of. 

Section 109 covers any "person who discloses or imparts any information on secret negotiations, deliberations or resolutions of the state or its rights in relation to foreign states," according to Reuters

Frederiksen published a statement on Friday that did not specify what the charges against him referred to or whether they related to his time as minister. 

"I have spoken out as a member of parliament on a political issue, and I have nothing further to add at present. But I could never dream of doing anything that could harm Denmark or Denmark's interests," Frederiksen's statement said, Reuters reported.

It was not clear which comments Frederiksen referred to in his statement.

The state prosecutors office and the Ministry of Defense declined to comment on Frederiksen's statement.

The news comes after the head of Denmark's foreign intelligence unit last month was detained, charged under the same section of the law over his suspected involvement in a case of "highly classified" information leaks. Lars Findsen denied wrongdoing, describing the accusation as "completely insane," according to Reuters.

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