Three members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), an Iranian separatist group, were found guilty by a Danish court of inciting violence in Iran and gathering information for an undisclosed Saudi intelligence service.
The court in Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, determined that they gathered information about individuals and organisations in Denmark and abroad, as well as on Iranian military issues, and passed it on to a Saudi intelligence service, the court said on Friday.
According to Danish law, the men cannot be identified and face a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. A punishment will be given in March, according to the District Court in Roskilde.
The three were apprehended in Ringsted, 60 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Copenhagen, in February 2020.
Because of the “connection with foreign powers and for the safety of the accused and others,” the court said the majority of the proceedings were held behind closed doors. The men pled not guilty, according to the court.
The three members of the London-based group’s case was linked to a case in which a 40-year-old man was detained in the Netherlands.
According to Dutch authorities, an armed component of the ASMLA movement operates in Iran, primarily targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as well as oil and gas facilities.
It was also tied to a Danish police operation in 2018 involving an alleged Iranian conspiracy to assassinate one or more Iranian government critics.
The operation isolated Copenhagen from the rest of Denmark for a brief period.
ASMLA has been accused by Tehran of attacking a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz in September 2018, which resulted in the deaths of at least 25 persons.
The organisation has condemned the violence and stated that it has nothing to do with it. One of the three defendants was found guilty of expressing his approval for the attack, according to the Danish court.
In November 2018, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service launched an investigation into the three men’s case.