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Finnish professor charged with spying for Russia

France,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Sat, 14 Apr 2012 IANS

Moscow, April 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Finnish academic has been charged by Denmark with aiding alleged Russian spies in Copenhagen.


According to Finland's national broadcaster YLE, 49-year-old Timo Kivimaki was first arrested and questioned by Danish detectives in 2010.


The Finn has been suspended from his job as professor of international politics at the University of Copenhagen.


He has admitted to providing consultancy services to four Russian diplomats between 2005 and 2010, and said he had charged 16,000 euros for the work, the Helsingin Sanomat daily reported.


Denmark's security agency PET has alleged the diplomats were spies.


The former head of PET told YLE that Kivimaki might have passed information about his students, who the Russians could have then used to recruit agents in Denmark.


But Kivimaki said there was no evidence to back the allegations and insisted that he was "innocent". He faces up to six years in jail if convicted.


He also said he was "relieved" that the matter was going to court.


Kivimaki has worked in Denmark for many years and has good contacts with radical Muslim and separatist organizations in Southeast Asia, the Helsingin Sanomat said.


--IANS/RIA Novosti




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