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Denmark's intelligence agency stops book of ex-boss

The book cover of "Seven Years for PET" in Copenhagen, Friday, Oct 7, 2016. Two large Danish media and 40 book stores across Denmark have been ordered by a court of law not to publish or sell a book based on interviews of the country's domestic intelligence agency's former chief, Jakob Scharf. The court injunction was made at the request of Denmark's Security and Intelligence Service, known as PET, that feared the book could contain secrets. (Jens Dresling/Polfoto via AP)
October 08, 2016 - 4:01 AM

COPENHAGEN - Two large Danish media and 40 book stores across Denmark have been ordered by a court of law not to publish or sell a book based on interviews of the country's domestic intelligence agency's former chief, Jakob Scharf.

The court injunction was made at the request of Denmark's Security and Intelligence Service, known as PET, that feared the book "Seven years with PET" based on interviews with Scharf, could contain secrets

Ekstra Bladet chief editor Poul Madsen says it was "completely ludicrous" that PET "dictates what the free press should print."

"Crazy times in an enlightened democracy," said Joergen Ramskov, chief editor of Radio24syv, one Denmark's largest radio stations, which also received an injunction.

Both media said they were informed Saturday after an overnight court ruling.

Ekstra Bladet said on its website that the injunction forbids wholly or partly printing of the book.

The PET agency said Friday it also secured an injunction against the publisher of the book, which is based on interviews with Scharf, the agency's boss for seven years.

PET said it had not seen a copy of the book but argued that it might contain secrets. The book is set for release on Oct. 17.

Jakob Kvist, a spokesman for publisher People's Press, said PET "had demanded to be allowed to make changes." Some 5,000 copies had already been distributed to book stores, he said. At least one shop had already sold it.

No one at PET was available for comment on Saturday.

Scharf, agency head 2007-2013, was in charge when PET foiled terror attacks, mainly linked to the 2005 publication in a newspaper of 12 cartoons by various artists depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Since then, Denmark has been a target of Islamist terror groups.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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