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Finnish professor scouted for student spies

Media report that Timo Kivimäki was supplying the Russian embassy with the names of prospective agents among students when he was arrested

[Editor’s note 28 August 2014: Timo Kivomäki was found guilty under the Danish paragraph 108, the so-called mild espionage paragraph, on 31 May 2012. Mild espionage is defined as aiding a foreign intelligence service without directly researching for them or informing for them. He was given a five month prison sentence. A resumé of the court’s decision can be found here. He served two and a half months in home arrest and four days of community service]

Political science professor Timo Kivimäki was monitored by intellience Danish intelligence service (PET) for eight years before finally being picked up while delivering prospects for student spys among University of Copenhagen students. This is according to Danish daily Politiken. These new details have come forward after a historic espionage case connected to the University of Copenhagen broke yesterday Thursday.

The PET had seen ‘small envelopes’ containing thousands of kroner being exchanged reports and Politiken, which have followed up on the Weekendavisen story. Another daily, Information, points to him providing Russian agents with sensitive information about people connected to the Centre for Military Studies.

Timo Kivimäki was arrested 8 September 2010 on a train. The University of Copenhagen has since suspended him, according to pending his investigation. The suspension was only made public yesterday Thursday.

Read: Police: Copenhagen professor spied for Russians

Prosecution wants a closed hearing

According to Politiken, Timo Kivimäki was released subsequent to his arrest and while being investigated.

The case will be heard in a court in Glostrup in May. The prosecutor for Copenhagen and North Zealand Gyrithe Ulrich will appeal for closed doors.

»This will happen with reference to the law’s statutes on state security and the relationship with foreign powers,« she says.

Russians no comment

Many political science students traditionally end up in central administrative ministries and agencies, and the speculation goes that this could be the reason Timo Kivimäki had tried to find prospects in this subject.

Timo Kivimäki claims innocence. PET have recorded his conversations, so »I assume that they have had microphones hidden in ash trays and potted plants in restaurants,« he says.

The Russian Embassy has declined to comment, saying that they only know of the case through the media.

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