In Denmark, the maximum sentence for financial crime is eight years, but in particularly grievous cases the defendant can have an extra 50 percent added to that – making it 12 years.
However, Copenhagen City Court on February 18 ruled that there was nothing “particularly grievous” about a trusted employee of the state stealing 117 million kroner over a period of 25 years from funds earmarked for society’s most vulnerable people.
Furthermore, very little of the money has been recovered, and Nielsen, who made an initial confession when she was arrested in November 2018, has not helped the investigators.
Out in 2025 at the latest
Britta Nielsen – who was found guilty of serious fraud, abusing her position in the public sector and forgery – only got six and a half years in prison. With time served, the 65-year-old will be released in 2025 – at the latest.
The prosecution had two weeks in which to appeal, but it accepted the ruling on February 26, despite having previously called for a minimum eight-year sentence.
On the first day of the trial, Nielsen admitted to stealing the money, although she didn’t admit that it happened throughout the entire 25-year period.
Kids in dock soon
However, a sting in the tail might be coming, as the trial of Nielsen’s three children – Jimmy, Jamilla and Samina Hayat – will begin at Glostrup Court on March 4 where they are charged with serious theft.
In total it is alleged that Nielsen transferred 50 million kroner – almost half of what she embezzled – to her children between 2007 and 2018. The prosecution will seek to prove the children knew or certainly suspected that the money came from criminal acts.
Additionally, Jimmy Hayat, 39, stands accused of helping his mother to conceal funds and possessing child pornography, which was found on his computer’s hard drive. He is expected to plead guilty – along with one of his sisters – while a son-in-law of Nielsen’s has also been charged with complicity in her theft.
Major shake-up for troubled estate
For over a decade, Mjølnerparken in Nørrebro has been one of Copenhagen’s most notorious neighbourhoods. A regular on the government’s ‘Ghettolisten’ since its introduction in 2010, it is home to around 1,500 people.
But now – in line with the controversial ‘Ghetto Package’, which was approved by Parliament in 2018 – many of them will be resettled in the near future, as part of a bid to reduce the estate’s public housing ratio down to 40 percent by 2030.
Buyers in place
Bo-Vita, which owns 510 ‘family homes’ in the area, has confirmed plans to sell 260 of them by the end of March. It is believed there are at least three potential buyers.
Bo-Vita (formerly Lejerbo København) plans to use part of the proceeds from the sale to relocate the residents, as well as to construct new public housing elsewhere in the city. (VG)
Terror shooting memorials
Valentine’s Day marked the fifth anniversary of the Copenhagen terror shootings and there were a number of events organised to mark the occasion. A peace walk with candles traced a route from the Great Synagogue to Krudttønden theatre – the scenes of the two murders – Parliament held a series of talks, and Kærlighed og kage held a ‘peace party’ where copious amounts of cake were consumed.
Inception in the city
An interactive exhibition has opened at the Guinness World Records Museum where visitors get to imagine what the city would be like if it was slanted 45 degrees – like in the film ‘Inception’. Designer Mikkel Sonne describes ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’ as an optical illusion space.
A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the gates of Parliament on February 7. The cocktail did not ignite, which is fortunate as the Christiansborg gates were made of wood. The police then arrested a man throwing another bomb a day later.
More funds for Nørrebro
Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen has pledged 7 million kroner towards making the area around Nørrebro Station greener with the installation of vegetation, gravel paths, lights and flowerbeds. The new urban space could be finished by the end of 2021.
Murder in Christiania
An Englishman in his 50s, Ian Roy Parkin, was stabbed to death in the early hours of Sunday morning near Woodstock, the Christiania bar where he worked as a bartender. Police are looking for an eastern European-looking man, who is believed to be homeless.
Tall tree planted
A 12-metre oak tree has been planted in a new square on the corner of Grønningen and Esplanaden not far from Kastellet – one of the tallest to be planted in Copenhagen in recent times. Designed by Gehl architects, the square is currently being built by the Thylander group.
Fill them up!
An initiative has been launched in the suburb of Køge to encourage visitors to its beaches to help clean them. Project Clean Beach has placed green baskets at various entrances, inviting beach-goers to fill them up.
Fire at nightclub
Lille Vega in Vesterbro had to cancel a week’s worth of concerts following a fire on January 29 that burned for two hours, damaging its stage. Nobody was injured and the cause of the fire is still undetermined.
Swedes face trial
Five Swedish men, ranging in age from 17 to 25, have been charged in connection with the murder of two men in the suburb of Herlev last June. Their trial starts on August 10 at Glostrup Court. The killings were connected to a Stockholm gang dispute, and they involved no Danes.