Jakob Scharf denies that he revealed any confidential information in the book. Photo: Jeppe Bøje Nielsen/Scanpix
Scharf is the subject of journalist Morten Skjoldager’s new book ‘Seven Years for PET’, the release of which the intelligence service blocked through an injunction last week.
On Monday, it was revealed that Scharf had signed an agreement with PET stating that he would seek the agency’s prior approval before participating in a book project or any other activity that could entail the dissemination of sensitive information.
Copenhagen City Court blocked the book without PET even having read it. The injunction was filed solely based upon publicity material distributed by publisher People’s Press.
PET’s attempt to block the book’s release was met by defiance in some quarters. Politiken newspaper published the book in its entirety as a special section in its Sunday edition and some booksellers sold copies of the book despite the injunction. Broadcaster Radio 24syv also covered the contents of the book.
PET formally rescinded the ban request, but said on Tuesday that it has now filed police charges against Scharf. The agency alleges that the former director has violated Section 152 of the Penal Code, which could carry a prison sentence.
The agency also filed separate police complaints against the book’s author Skjoldager, publisher People’s Press, Radio 24syv and Politiken’s parent company JP/Politikens Hus.
Scharf has contended that he did not divulge any confidential information in the book and said the publisher had merely oversold its contents when it wrote that Scharf “exposes PET operations, the known and the unknown, and portrays the service’s dedicated agents and the art of recruiting an informant”.
“I can say that I would not have written it that way,” Scharf told Jyllands-Posten.
“I’m not passing on confidential information to people. I’m not doing it. And I wouldn’t think of doing it,” he added.
Scharf left PET in 2013 amidst a scandal involving former Justice Minister Morten Bødskov lying to parliament about security risks related to a parliamentary committee's planned visit to Christiania.