Lawyers in Danish embezzlement case could file complaints against media

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Lawyers in Danish embezzlement case could file complaints against media
File photo: Nils Svalebøg/Ritzau Scanpix

Defence lawyers for three people suspected of implication in the embezzlement scandal at Socialstyrelsen, an administrative department of the Ministry for Children and Social Affairs, say media should not have published information relating to their identity.


Last week, the ministry made public details of a long-standing embezzlement affair at the agency.

A 64-year-old former Socialstyrelsen employee is wanted by police for long-term misappropriation of public funds totalling 111 million kroner ($17.23 million). The money is reported to have been taken in many cases from state funds intended to benefit socially underprivileged people.

A number of media could now face police complaints after three defence lawyers contacted a number of managing editors, Ritzau reports.

In addition to the 64-year-old, three further people are suspected of receiving stolen goods as a result of benefitting from the money reportedly misappropriated by the woman.

Unlike the primary suspect, the three are protected by rules preventing their names from being made public, but the lawyers have claimed that a number of media are in breach of this.

Their lawyers will therefore file complaints with police.

“Rules against naming suspects effectively apply to any means of identifying them, so any information that can be used to identify the subject is considered by us to be in breach of the rule,” lawyer Peter Secher wrote in an email to editors, according to Ritzau’s report.

Several media made identification possible via published text and images, according to Secher and the two other lawyers who sent the email, Henrik Dupont Jørgensen and Christian Bjerrehuus.

“We expect such information to be left out of articles and that all articles which contain this information are deleted or edited,” the email stated.

Police complaints will be filed on Friday against media not considered to be in compliance, according to the email.

READ ALSO: Danish social agency freezes payouts after embezzlement scandal


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