March 25, 2020 / 10:45 AM / 4 days ago

Denmark charges Norwegian citizen over alleged Iranian assassination plot - prosecutor

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark’s state prosecutor said on Wednesday it had charged a Norwegian citizen with assisting an Iranian intelligence service plan an assassination on Danish soil.

The Norwegian, who has Iranian heritage, was arrested in October 2018 over a suspected plot to kill an Iranian Arab opposition figure in Denmark.

In a statement, the state prosecutor said the man had now been charged with collecting and passing on information to an Iranian intelligence service for use in carrying out an assassination in Denmark. It said the suspect was also charged with attempted manslaughter.

The 40-year old Norwegian citizen has pleaded not guilty to all charges, his lawyer told Reuters. The trial is scheduled to begin in a Roskilde court on May 1.

The alleged attempt to eliminate a leading member of the opposition Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) was prevented after a major police operation in Denmark in September 2018 during which borders were temporarily closed.

In February, Danish police said they had arrested three leading members of ASMLA on suspicion of spying for Saudi Arabia. One of the arrested had been a target for assassination in September 2018, they said.

Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim government has denied any connection with the alleged plot. Ahvaz is the main city in Khuzestan, a Sunni Muslim Arab-majority province in southwestern Iran.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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