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Norwegian Found Guilty Of Spying For Iran In Denmark

Denmark - A general view shows the Copenhagen City Court. FILE PHOTO
COPENHAGEN, June 26 (Reuters) -

A Danish court on Friday sentenced a Norwegian citizen to seven years in jail after finding him guilty of spying for an Iranian intelligence service and of complicity in a suspected plot to kill an Iranian Arab opposition figure in Denmark.

The 40-year-old Norwegian man, who has Iranian heritage, was arrested in October 2018 after a major police operation in which Denmark temporarily closed its international borders. The court did not give the man's name.

For several days in late September that year, the Norwegian had observed and taken 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.

The defendant was sentenced to seven years in prison and permanent expulsion from the country, public broadcaster DR reported. It was not immediately clear whether he would first have to serve all or part of the sentence before being expelled.

The defendant, who has denied all charges, immediately appealed against the verdict, DR said.

The exile, who was also 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.