Norwegian security chief resigns after intel gaffe

Jan 19, 2012, 1:53 PM

OSLO, Norway (AP) – The chief of Norway’s domestic intelligence service hastily resigned from her post after disclosing classified information in an open hearing in Parliament, apparently about Norway’s intelligence activities in Pakistan, officials and media reports said Thursday.

Janne Kristiansen, head of Norway’s PST security service, “expressed herself in a way that could be interpreted as a breach of confidentiality,” Justice Minister Grete Faremo said.

Government officials didn’t specify what classified material Kristiansen had revealed in Wednesday’s hearing, but Norwegian media said it was her answer to a question from a lawmaker about Norway’s contacts with Pakistani security and intelligence agencies.

Kristiansen said PST doesn’t have “official collaboration” with Pakistan, but added that Norway’s military intelligence service has “representation in these countries.”

Faremo, the justice minister, said Kristiansen had committed a serious breach of confidentiality and that it’s up to prosecutors to decide whether to file criminal charges. Faremo said Kristiansen informed her of her resignation late Wednesday, and was temporarily replaced by her deputy, Roger Berg.

Kristiansen, a lawyer, was appointed as head of the PST in September 2009.

She faced criticism in Norwegian media last summer after a right-wing extremist, unknown to PST, set off a bomb outside the government headquarters, killing eight people, and massacred 69 others at the governing Labor Party’s annual youth camp.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Norwegian security chief resigns after intel gaffe