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Former Danish defence minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen has been accused with leaking state secrets

FILE PHOTO: Denmark’s Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen speaks during a press conference after the official ceremony welcoming the deployment of a multi-national NATO battalion in Tapa, Estonia, April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Denmark’s former defence minister, announced on Friday that he has been charged with treason for disclosing state secrets, according to a part of the penal code.

The news: Frederiksen, who served as defence minister from 2016 to 2019, was charged with violating section 109 of the Criminal Code, which has a maximum term of 12 years in jail, though it was unclear what he was accused of.

  • Anyone who “discloses or transmits any knowledge about secret discussions, deliberations, or resolutions of the state or its rights in relation to other states” is covered by Section 109.

What they’re saying: Frederiksen did not say what the charges against him were or whether they related to his time as a minister in a statement released on Friday.

  • “I have spoken out on a political subject as a member of parliament, and I have nothing more to say at this time. But I could never imagine doing anything that would be detrimental to Denmark or its interests,” Frederiksen said.
  • It was unclear which statements he was referring to.

What happened: Frederiksen’s declaration was met with silence from the state prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Defense.

  • The development follows the arrest last month of the chief of Denmark’s foreign intelligence branch, who was prosecuted under the same provision of the statute for his alleged involvement in a case of “highly confidential” information breaches. Lars Findsen has categorically denied any misconduct, calling the allegations “absolutely crazy.”

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