Deleted texts plague Danish government in mink inquiry

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks to press on October 28th. Frederiksen has been forced to answer questions over auto-deleted SMS messages as an inquiry continues over the 2020 decision to cull fur farm mink.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks to press on October 28th. Frederiksen has been forced to answer questions over auto-deleted SMS messages as an inquiry continues over the 2020 decision to cull fur farm mink. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen came under fire on Thursday for deleting text messages related to last year's illegal culling of farmed minks over coronavirus fears.

Formerly the world’s leading exporter of mink fur, the Scandinavian country controversially killed all of its 15-17 million minks over a mutated strain of the virus found in some minks. 

Studies had suggested the variant could jeopardise the effectiveness of future vaccines. 

But with the mass culling programme already underway, a court challenge to the order found that the government’s decision had no legal basis. 

Under the legislation, the government only had the authority to ask mink farmers in the seven municipalities affected by the mutation to cull their minks.

An agreement was reached retroactively rendering the government’s decision legal and the nationwide cull went ahead as planned.

An official inquiry into the government’s handling of the matter had requested access to Frederiksen’s cell phone text messages and those of three close advisers.

However, the prime minister said they no longer existed as her phone setting automatically deleted them after 30 days.

“I was advised by the prime minister’s office to have automatic deleting of my text messages turned on for security reasons, and I chose to follow that advice,” the PM told broadcaster TV2 on Thursday.

But questions arose over the policy.

The justice ministry said Thursday that its minister Nick Haekkerup’s phone had never been set to automatically delete messages. 

Former Liberal prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the same. 

The opposition, led by the Liberal party, on Thursday urged the justice minister to demand a police investigation into the deleted text messages and to have the missing texts restored.

Frederiksen is due to testify before the inquiry on December 9th.

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  1. Funny fact, now the working citizen who pays taxes and consumes, must pay millionaire compensation for such a mistake. Classic Social Democrats

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