Former immigration minister Støjberg to face renewed scrutiny in official inquiry

Former immigration minister Støjberg to face renewed scrutiny in official inquiry
Inger Støjberg. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
A majority in the Danish parliament is to back an inquiry into an illegal directive issued by former Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg.

The inquiry will revolve around a 2016 directive issued by Støjberg while minister. The directive ordered authorities to forcibly separate, without individual case assessment, married couples given asylum in Denmark, provided one of the couple was under 18 years old.

The directive was later found to be illegal and Støjberg faced a series of testing parliamentary hearings over it.

“We have agreed to set down a commission which will investigate this course of events whereby an illegal directive was given but where it has been unusually difficult to gain a clear picture of what happened,” Karina Lorentzen, justice spokesperson with the Socialist People’s Party, told Ritzau.

Earlier this week, Støjberg announced she would stand for selection as the new deputy leader of the Liberal (Venstre) party.

The controversy from her time as immigration minister had already threatened to resurface, given a new, left-wing parliamentary majority became potentially capable of commissioning an inquiry following the change of government after the June 5th general election.

Støjberg, the only candidate for the deputy leader role, maintained during three parliamentary hearings in 2017 that she did not intentionally issue an illegal directive.

“It is important to investigate and get to the bottom of this issue because it is important for our democracy. If a minister intentionally circumvented the law, then we have a serious problem,” Red-Green Alliance justice spokesperson Rosa Lund said.

A so-called mandate or kommissorium, precisely setting out the task of the inquiry, must be produced before it can begin.

The members of the inquiry will be selected by justice minister Nick Hækkerup.

On Thursday, Støjberg told Ritzau in a written comment that any investigation initiated by the parliament was “out of (her) hands”.

“I have already explained the course of events relating to the intervention against child brides in several consultations and hundreds of responses in parliament, and there was also an investigation by the (parliamentary) ombudsman” the former minister wrote.

“If there’s another investigation, I will naturally answer all questions again in relation to that,” she added.

READ ALSO: Former Danish immigration minister Støjberg to run for Liberal deputy leader role 


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