PR company spied on DSB-critical journalist

Suspended DSB executive knew that a PR firm had placed a journalist who had been critical of the state-run company under surveillance

The PR firm Waterfront is embroiled in a new scandal after tabloid BT this weekend revealed that it hired a private detective to spy on one of its employees, journalist Lars Abild, on behalf of state-run rail operator DSB.

Abild was a thorn in the side of DSB after breaking a number of highly-critical stories about the rail operator.

This January, state broadcaster DR revealed how DSB paid Waterfront to hire Abild and keep him too busy to find the time to write about DSB.

DSB’s deputy director Peder Nedergaard Nielsen was suspended after the relationship between Waterfront and DSB was exposed in a series of leaked emails.

Now it transpires that Nielsen was also aware of the private detective’s work. In an email from Waterfront managing director Lars Poulsen to Nielsen, Poulsen detailed how the private detective had watched and filmed a meeting between Abild and another former Waterfront employee, Karsten Madsen.

“At a meeting today between 10:20 and 12:00, [Abild] was given files with private documents from Karsten Madsen,” Poulsen wrote in an email to Nielsen, according to BT.

Confronted with the email, Poulsen confirmed to BT that Waterfront had hired a private detective but said that the firm was actually keeping an eye on Hansen, whom they feared was passing on information to Abild.

Speaking to DR, Abild expressed disappointment at BT’s revelations.

“I’m shocked that a former work partner hired a private detective to keep an eye on me with the full knowledge of a DSB boss,” Abild said. “This proves that DSB, which paid 200,000 kroner a month to Waterfront for these services, is completely and utterly deranged.”

MP Martin Geertsen (Venstre) is now calling on the Transport Ministry to express whether it supports DSB’s management given the latest revelations.

“The transport minister needs to examine this case and explain whether the system still has faith in DSB’s current management,” Geertsen told DR.





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