DSB sacks deputy director over Waterfrontgate

An investigation into DSB’s alleged payment to PR firm Waterfront journalist to keep a critical journalist silent finds plenty of circumstantial evidence but no definitive proof

National rail provider DSB has sacked its deputy director following an investigation into the controversy surrounding the company's use of the PR firm Watergate

The law firm Bruun og Hjejle has been investigating DSB's use of the PR firm since January when emails indicated that DSB paid Waterfront money which it used to hire journalist Lars Abild and keep him busy so that he would not continue to write critical articles about DSB. The investigation, however, failed to prove definitively that DSB's funds went directly to Abild’s salary.

“It cannot be documented that DSB paid the critical journalist Lars Abild’s salary in the PR firm Waterfront. We cannot conclude on this,” the government's legal advisor, Karsten Hagel Sørensen, who helped the private firm with the investigation, said at a press conference earlier today.

Sørensen said, however, that there is enough circumstantial evidence that DSB did attempt to silence Abild’s criticism.

Following the release of the investigation results, DSB announced the firing of its deputy director, Peder Nedergaard Nielsen. According to DSB, it will now start a reassessment of its ethical rules and improve internal processes regarding access to public information. Furthermore the state-run company said it will implement a ‘whistleblower’ arrangement.

“There must not be any doubt that DSB wishes to have an open, honest and direct dialogue with all its partners," DSB's managing director, Jesper Lok, said in a statement, adding that DSB will co-operate with the government in order to make clear guidelines to ensure that this will not happen again.