Ahenfo Radio Denmark

Criticism pours down on the government after dropped cases: ‘Appalling incompetence’

Earlier today, the criminal cases against Claus Hjort Frederiksen and Lars Findsen were dropped. This causes several parties to thunder against the government.

The whole course of the cases against Claus Hjort Frederiksen and former spy chief Lars Findsen is today provoking violent reactions from the opposition parties in Christiansborg.

Hjort and Findsen were both charged with leaking state secrets in December 2021, but today the cases were dropped.

The Liberal Alliance’s political leader, Alex Vanoplasgh, calls the case against Hjort a “scandalous political decision from the start”.

– The fact that the indictment is now dropped shows the government’s hysterical overreaction by prosecuting in the first place.

– All Claus Hjort did was participate in the public debate with a fierce criticism of the then Mette Frederiksen government. In this connection, he has referred to a “state secret,” which has otherwise been referenced in the media several times, he writes on the social media X.

Here he refers to the fact that Claus Hjort Frederiksen has referred to a secret collaboration between the Defense Intelligence Service (FE) and the American intelligence service NSA regarding the interception of data cables.

The Supreme Court confirmed a few days ago that the case is about exactly that collaboration .

Deer: Political matter

Claus Hjort Frederiksen himself has previously claimed that the case against him was politically motivated and pointed the arrow at the top of the government and the Prime Minister’s department head for being the ones who got the case against him started.

The chairman of the Danish People’s Party, Morten Messerschmidt, is also targeting the top of the government.

He calls it “shocking incompetence”, and says that Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen bears the responsibility.

– It is she who, as prime minister, has the final responsibility when charges are brought against the country’s head of intelligence, but also the former defense minister. She is responsible for the whole farce.

On 27 October this year, the Supreme Court decided that the criminal proceedings against the two should be conducted behind partially open doors. The prosecution had wanted the cases to be conducted behind closed doors so that the public could not gain insight into them.

The public prosecutor’s office writes today in a press release that the cases are now being dropped because they do not believe they can lift the burden of proof in the case when they cannot present classified information in court .

At Nye Borgerlige, chairman Pernille Vermund is outraged by the treatment of both Claus Hjort Frederiksen and Lars Findsen.

– It is a hugely undignified way to treat an opposition politician, but also an employee of the intelligence service, who has had his private life exposed to the public.

– There is something in this case that smells far away, and I can’t see anything other than that it is a mixture of power perfection and incompetence on the part of Mette Frederiksen and Trine Bramsen, respectively, she says, referring to the fact that Trine Bramsen was Minister of Defense – and thus head of the Defense Intelligence Service – when the FE case broke out.

Will have the matter investigated

In Enhedslisten, court reporter Rosa Lund believes that the case has become even more heated than it was before, after the court cases were dropped today.

– The fact that the case is dropped because there must be publicity in the case says something about how little there is to catch up on.

A commission has already been set up to investigate the process surrounding the repatriation of five employees of the Defense Intelligence Service – including Lars Findsen – in 2020.

But that investigation must be expanded, Rosa Lund believes.

– I hope that this will now be thoroughly investigated. My fear is that now you sit at the top of the government and think that now they will probably forget it. But we’re not going to forget this.

Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard (S) writes in a press release that he and the government will now expand the commission that has been set up.

This is due to the “significant public debate and the speculation that has been about the handling of the cases against Lars Findsen and Claus Hjort Frederiksen,” he writes.

– We propose that the investigation must also include whether any improper considerations have been taken in connection with the central decisions of the intelligence services and the public prosecutor’s office regarding the initiation and organization of the investigation and prosecution.

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