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Professor Timo Kivimäki will not appeal a sentence due to costs, he says. It is not because he accepts the court's verdict. Information proffered to Russian diplomats includes material about Iraq, he writes
[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]
Professor Timo Kivimäki maintains his innocence of the charges against him, despite his decision not to appeal a five month prison sentence. At the same time he offers more details of the case in written responses to our Danish-language sister media Uniavisen.dk.
Timo Kivimäki is accused under a Danish ‘mild espionage’ act for offering information to Russian diplomats. In an interview on Uniavisen.dk he explains that most of his work for Russian diplomats had to do with the war in Iraq.
»99 per cent of my cooperation with the Russian diplomats was focused on offering research-based input for Russian foreign political argumentation (against the war in Iraq, against a pre-emptive strike on Iran, in favor of measures to re-establish the centrality of the UN in world politics etc.),« he writes to Uniavisen.dk.
»Occasionally I was also reported back about the ways in which for example Russia’s UN ambassador had used my arguments or my scholarly inputs to arguments in his speeches. This was not found illegal in Denmark: political argumentation is acceptable in democracies,« he adds.
Charges against Kivimäki include the intent to supply lists with student names to foreign powers. Timo Kivimäki maintains his innocence of this also, saying that it had to do with an offer for language lessons.
»I was not sentenced for delivering any information about my students (which I did not do, and which the court does not claim I did). I was neither sentenced for planning or discussing about recruitment of students or scholars (which I did not do either),« he writes.
»Instead, I had discussed with one of the Russian diplomats about language training of my students in general. I have said in my interrogations that if the Russian Embassy later had offered Russian language classes to my students, I would have been able to talk to them about how many students of mine could possibly need such classes, and I would probably have promoted the opportunity to my students.«
»However, if the Russian classes had been organized to recruit students my complicity in the Russian language class plan would have helped the recruitment of spies,« he admits.
According to Kivimäki, he simply cannot afford to appeal to a national court. His sentence is shorter than continuing the case which might easily take years, and he is not willing to take the economic costs and risks.
Timo Kivimäki hopes to close the case, and continue to work for the University of Copenhagen.
»I hope I could continue at the university,« the Professor writes.
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