Danish Ex-Minister Charged With Treason Over Spy Case Comments
(Bloomberg) -- Danish opposition lawmaker and former minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen has been charged with treason for leaking secret information to the media, according to his party.
Frederiksen, who served as finance minister twice since 2009 and held the defense minister’s job from 2016 to 2019, is cited as confirming the charges in an emailed statement by the liberal Venstre party.
“I have expressed myself as a member of parliament in a political case,” he is cited as saying. “I could never have dreamed about doing something that could harm Denmark or Danish interests.”
In an interview to broadcaster TV2 last month, he confirmed media reports about the cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark on tapping a cable for surveillance. If found guilty, Frederiksen can be jailed for as long as 12 years.
The announcement is the latest twist in a surveillance scandal that implicated the Danish Defense Intelligence Service in having collected data from private citizens and sharing the information with foreign powers, including the U.S. National Security Agency. It follows local news reports earlier this month that the head of Denmark’s military intelligence service has been jailed, charged with leaking classified material.
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