Leader of intelligence agency quits
Jakob Scharf quits after intense media and political scrutiny over his ability to lead the domestic intelligence agency, PET
Jakob Scharf, the head of the Danish domestic intelligence agency PET, will step down in the New Year.
In a press release this afternoon, Scharf said the secretive organisation had faced difficult internal challenges that were his responsibility to resolve.
"Some of the media focus has attempted to create doubt and mistrust in relation to me and my management of PET," he said. "This not only limits my ability to lead, but also has a negative impact on PET and the common goal of developing the organisation."
Ekstra Bladet tabloid recently revealed how Scharf asked his staff to illegally look into the calendar of MP Pia Kjærsgaard (DF), and that PET staff had resigned due to a lack of faith in his leadership abilities.
"Out of consideration for PET, I have decided that the only right move would be to step aside and let a new leader of PET make the necessary changes," Scharf said, adding that over the next few weeks he would discuss his future work with the Justice Ministry.
"It has been a privelege to lead PET for almost seven years and I leave with enormous satisfaction looking at the changes and developments we have made at PET, as well as the results that PET employee and managers have delivered in this period while the threat of terror remained high," Scharf wrote.
In a press release of his own, Justice Minister Morten Bødskov (S) praised Scharf's performance at PET.
"Jakob Scharf has headed up PET for nearly seven years, during which time he has had the responsibility to, among other things, protect Denmark against terror threats," Bødskov said. "He had handled that incredibly well in a period in which the threat level has increased and in which we have experienced multiple terror attempts. I have felt very safe living in a land where Jakob Scharf has been the head of PET."