High court challenge over secrecy of spy trial

A man accused of spying for Russia has been granted the right to appeal at the Supreme Court against having his trial held behind closed doors

May 24th, 2012 2:48 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

49-year-old Timo Kivimäki, a Finnish humanities professor at the University of Copenhagen, is accused of spying for the Russians and is being tried at the city court in Glostrup behind double-locked doors, meaning no information about the trial, including the precise charges, can be disseminated.

But following demands from both Kivimäki's lawyer and the Danish media, he has been granted permission to appeal against the decision to hold the trial in secret.

The decision to hold the trial in secret was made after both the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry argued that the trial's revelations could damage Denmark’s relationship with Russia.

Kivimäki’s lawyer Anders Nemeth wanted the trial to be held in public but both the city court in Glostrup and the Eastern High Court decided to follow the guidance of the ministries and hold the trial behind double-locked doors. The case's secrecy has now been appealed to the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court will not be able to make a ruling before the verdict is handed down on May 31,” Nemeth acknowledged to Ekstra Bladet. “But the Supreme Court’s verdict may set a precedent for future cases. If the Supreme Court decides that the doors may remain open then it will probably mean that the press will be given access to the court records from the case.”

The trial against Kivimäki started on May 8 and while his verdict and potential sentence will be publicised, the reasoning and evidence will remain secret.

Kivimäki was arrested in April and is being charged under anti-spy legislation on suspicion of having helped a foreign intelligence agency operate in Denmark. He faces up to six years in prison, though a 12-year sentence is also possible if military secrets have been shared.

Kivimäki has admitted to holding meetings with Russian diplomats and carrying out paid work for them, but he denies the accusation from domestic intelligence agency PET that he was prepared to provide the Russians with the names of students he thought were potential spy candidates.

What lies beneath: the future ownership of the region could determine whether it stays there (photo:istock)
Jockeying for position in the Arctic, affairs remain cool … for now
  As the ice melts in the Arctic, the potential for conflict among ...
(photo: istock)
December referendum
  On Thursday December 3, the Danes will be invited to the ballot b...
The radio shop was the birthplace of the Holger Danske I resistance group (photo: Facebook/Stjerne Radio)
Wartime street party on Istedgade tomorrow
If you’ve ever walked through the city and wondered what it would have lo...
The winning designs can potentially solve a global problem in a sustainable manner (photo: Index Awards)
Winners found in sustainable Danish design awards
The prestigious Index Awards, the Denmark-based world's leading design awar...
Morten Duncan Rasmussen and the Wolves will have to be at their best to progress from Group D (photo: FCM)
FC Midtjylland draw Italian giants in Europa League
The Danish champions FC Midtjylland have been drawn in the same Europa Leag...
As much as 80 percent of companies’ costs are related to their supply chains (photo: iStock)
DI helping Danish companies to tighten the supply chain
The Danish industrial interest organisation Dansk Industri (DI) has launche...