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Denmark seeks to dissolve criminal gang in historic case

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Denmark seeks to dissolve criminal gang in historic case
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11:22 CEST+02:00
A Danish court is to decide whether or not to ban a gang from existing in what would be the first decision of its kind in the history of the country's constitution.

The State Prosecution (Rigsadvokat) case against the gang, which is known as ‘Loyal to Familia’ (LTF), is the result of comprehensive police investigation, the Ministry of Justice said in a press statement.

“It has never been the intention of constitutional authors to protect, under the right to freely form associations, deeply criminal gangs that go around shooting in the streets,” Minister of Justice Søren Pape Poulsen said in a press statement.

“LTF has been the primary actor in the violent gang conflicts that last year caused fear and uncertainty across Denmark with open killings and shootings,” Poulsen continued.

The minister initiated last year the investigation into the group by the State Prosecution.

Police have compiled 10,000 pages of evidence and convictions against LTF members. That has led to the court case to ban the group entirely.

Should the prosecution be successful, an association would be banned from existing in Denmark for the first time since the Second World War.

According to Denmark’s constitution, associations can be temporarily suspended by law. This is the outcome the prosecution will seek in the court case, which is scheduled for August.

But the prosecution service would also seek a temporary ban while court procedure is ongoing, according to Poulsen.

A legal ban on LTF would require the prosecution to prove that the organised crime gang is an association in a legal sense and that it has an illegal purpose, for example by showing that it uses violence to further its cause.

“Most people are aware that LTF members commit violent crime, but I believe we can also prove that they do it as an organised association,” state prosecutor Jan Reckendorff said in a press statement.

Final judgement on the case to ban the group is likely to be made at the Højesteret supreme court.

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