University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


'Spy' professor: Harsh PET methods

It is legal to work for foreign governments, confirms University, as professor in media criticises the Danish intelligence service for ruining his career

[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 of Political Science, Timo Kivimäki, pleads not guilty to Danish intelligent service PET’s accusations of espionage.

The Professor acknowledges being paid to provide Russian diplomats from the embassy with formulated arguments and political analysis. This is normal for an academic, and something Kivimäki has allegedly been employed to do on numerous times for various governments and embassies, according to Danish newspapers and

Read: Police: Copenhagen professor spied for Russians

Danish intelligence service, PET, accuses Professor Kivimäki of providing four Russian agents from the Russian intelligence service with security assessments and information about Denmark.

University: Extra work in principle OK

Professor Kivimäki may not have broken any University of Copenhagen (UCPH) regulations.

This is because the UCPH allows academic employees to take other jobs alongside their university employment. Unrelated to this case, the University’s board is currently considering rules on extra work outside the University.

»There are many opportunities to work as advisors to foreign companies and governments, but it really depends on what it is. Espionage is not legal and that’s it,« says Vice Director of Communications at UCPH, Jasper Steen Winkel, to, stressing that Kivimäki has not yet been convicted.

Read: Finnish professor scouted for student spies

Professor: PET has ruined my carrier

Apart from an academic carrier, suspended Professor Kivimäki had many prestigious jobs outside campus. Among others, he was advisor of previous Finnish president and Nobel price winner Martti Ahtisaari.

Kivimäki claims to have been interrogated by the Danish intelleigence service, PET, for a total of 350-400 hours since he was first arrested in 2010.

»In the beginning of the interrogations they used a method where I did not get enough sleep. I wasn’t even given my asthma medication. I did not know that this type of activity is possible in a civilized country like Denmark,« Kivimäki says, adding that the suspicion of espionage has damaged many aspects of his career.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.