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Iranian Opposition Group Members Charged In Denmark With Financing Terrorist Activity


Police vehicles block the street near Copenhagen in September 2018 in an operation, after which Denmark accused Iranian intelligence agencies of planning to assassinate an Iranian activist, believed to be a member of an Arab separatist movement, on Danish soil.

Denmark's public prosecutor has charged three members of an Iranian Arab opposition group with financing and supporting terrorist activity in Iran and aiding Saudi intelligence services.

"This is a very serious case, where people in Denmark have carried out illegal intelligence activities and financed and promoted terrorism from Denmark in other countries," Lise-Lotte Nilas, a Copenhagen prosecutor, said in a statement on April 15.

"Of course, this cannot take place on Danish soil, and therefore I am satisfied that we can now bring charges in the case."

The three members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) were arrested in February 2020 and have been in custody since.

At the time of their detention, Danish officials said the three "collected information about individuals in Denmark and abroad and passed on this information to a Saudi intelligence service," among other things.

The prosecutor said the case was linked to a 2018 police operation over an alleged Iranian plot to kill one or more opponents of the Iranian government.

They said it was also connected with a criminal case that is currently pending against a Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin who is charged with having helped the Iranian intelligence service plan the murder in Denmark of one of the three.

A jury trial will start on April 29 for the three and be held at the Roskilde district court, the statement said.

The defendants face prison sentences of up to 12 years if convicted.

ASMLA, which has an armed branch and seeks a separate state for ethnic Arabs in Iran's oil-producing southwestern province of Khuzestan, was accused by Tehran as being behind a deadly 2018 terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that left at least 25 dead, including civilians.

With reporting by Reuters
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