Norwegian man found guilty of spying for Iran in Denmark

The 40-year-old was gathering information south of Copenhagen for a murder plot against an opponent of the Iranian regime

epa08510115 Police stands guard outside Roskilde court  in Roskilde, Denmark, 26 June 2020. A 40-year-old Norwegian-Iranian was convicted on 26 June 2020 for cooperating with the Iranian intelligence service on planning the murder of an Iranian refugee in the city of Ringsted.  EPA/Mads Claus Rasmussen  DENMARK OUT
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A 40-year-old Norwegian man has been found guilty of spying for Iran and involvement in an aborted plot to murder an anti-Tehran activist on Danish soil.

The man, who was not identified but is of Iranian descent, was found guilty after a trial in Denmark in a case linked to a 2018 police operation involving an alleged Iranian plot to kill one or more opponents of the Iranian government. That operation briefly cut off the island on which Copenhagen sits from the rest of Denmark.

The convicted man “collected information about an exiled Iranian in Denmark” from September 25 to 27, 2018, and passed it to a person working for an unnamed Iranian intelligence service, the court in Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, found.

The Norwegian had pleaded not guilty but had refused to speak at the trial, which was held behind closed doors.

He had been seen taking photographs of an area home to members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz in Ringsted, about 65 kilometres south of Copenhagen.

As part of the investigation, Denmark in February arrested three members of the Ahwaz group for suspected spying on people and companies for an unnamed intelligence service over six years from 2012.

A fourth man was arrested at the same time in the Netherlands for allegedly plotting one or more terror attacks in Iran and for membership of a terrorist organisation.

Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen in February referred to "a very complex case" in which foreign countries, one of which was Iran, were "bringing internal strife into this country".