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Three Iranians to go on trial in Denmark on terror charges

Separatists are accused of financing and promoting terrorism in Iran in cooperation with a Saudi intelligence service

A view of Roskilde, Denmark (CC BY-SA Bococo/Wikimedia Commons)
A view of Roskilde, Denmark (CC BY-SA Bococo/Wikimedia Commons)

Three leaders of an Iranian Arab separatist group will go on trial in Denmark on April 29 accused of financing and promoting terrorism in Iran with Saudi Arabia’s backing, prosecutors said Thursday.

“Three leaders of the ASMLA (Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz) are accused of financing and promoting terrorism in Iran in cooperation with a Saudi intelligence service,” the Danish prosecution service said in a statement.

The case is to be heard at the Roskilde court, near Copenhagen, and the Iranians risk 12 years in prison if found guilty.

The trio have been in custody since February 2020, but the case dates back to 2018 when one of them was the target of a planned attack on Danish soil believed to be sponsored by the Iranian regime in retaliation for the killing of 24 people in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran, in September 2018.

Tehran formally denied the attack plan in Denmark, but a Danish court last year jailed a Norwegian-Iranian for seven years for his role in the plot.

Meanwhile, the attack put Danish authorities on the trail of the trio’s ASMLA activities.

Police then arrested the three, suspecting them of collecting information on people and companies in Denmark and abroad, in cooperation with Saudi intelligence services.

Sunni Saudi Arabia is the Shia Islamic Republic’s main rival in the Middle East.

In addition to promoting and financing terrorism, the three men, whose identities have not been disclosed, are also accused of assisting Saudi intelligence on military issues, among other things.

Their alleged crimes took place between 2012 and 2020, prosecutors said.

ASMLA is based in Denmark and the Netherlands, according to Dutch authorities.

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