Norwegian Found Guilty of Spying for Iran in Denmark

A general view of the courthouse where a verdict is expected on whether a Norwegian-Iranian man is guilty of assisting an Iranian intelligence service in preparing an assault in Ringsted on an Iranian exile, in Roskilde, Denmark June 26, 2020. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS./

COPENHAGEN, June 26 (Reuters) – A Danish court on Friday sentenced a Norwegian citizen to seven years in jail after convicting him of spying for an Iranian intelligence service and complicity in a suspected plot to kill an Iranian Arab opposition figure in Denmark.

Mohammad Davoudzadeh Loloei, a 40-year-old Norwegian with Iranian heritage, was arrested in October 2018 after a major police operation in which Denmark temporarily closed its international borders.

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For several days in late September that year, Loloei observed and took photos of the home of an Iranian exile in Denmark, as well as the streets and roads surrounding the home, Roskilde District Court said in a statement.

“The court found that the information was collected and passed on to a person working for an Iranian intelligence service, for use by the intelligence service’s plans to kill the exile,” the court said.

Loloei was sentenced to seven years in prison and permanent expulsion from Denmark, public prosecutor Soeren Harbo told Reuters. Loloei will be denied entrance to Denmark after serving his sentence.

“It’s a historic case,” Harbo said. “And it’s a powerful message to (foreign) intelligence services: they have to handle their conflicts among themselves and stop involving us.”

Harbo added that Danish authorities had filed an international arrest warrant with the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, for Loloei’s Iranian case officer.

Loloei, who has denied all charges, immediately appealed against the verdict, Harbo said.

The exile, who was not named in the statement, is the leader of an Iranian Arab resistance group known as the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA).

Separately, Danish police have charged three members of ASMLA, including the group’s leader, with spying for Saudi intelligence services and financing and supporting terrorism in Iran.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard Editing by Mark Heinrich)