Top civil servants suspended for role in misleading parliament
Two top civil servants in the Justice Ministry have been temporarily suspended over their role in the scandal that led to the departure of former Justice Minister Morten Bødskov (S) in December.
Bødskov admitted to lying to parliament about his involvement in cancelling a visit by parliament's justice committee to Christiania due to the risk of disturbances – particularly due to the participation of MP Pia Kjærsgaard (DF).
Karen Hækkerup (S) took over as justice minister and promised to investigate the involvement of civil servants in the scandal, which has now lead to the suspension of the two officials, including the head of department, Anne Kirstine Axelsson. According to TV2 News, the other official is Jens Christian Bülow, the department head for the police and criminal law.
“On the recommendation of our legal advisers, I have decided to start an investigation into the role of two civil servants in the presentation of inaccurate information to parliament’s legal committee and the advice they gave to the former justice minister,” Hækkerup stated in a press release.
The civil servants will now be questioned by three judges who will decide whether they can keep their jobs.
The hearings will be held in private and the allegations against Axelsson and Bülow will only be publicised once the hearings are complete and the judges have released their findings.
The Christiania lie
Bødskov tried to cancel the visit to the freetown Christiania by explaining that the-then chief of Copenhagen Police was unable to attend the visit in February 2012.
In truth, intelligence gathered by the domestic intelligence agency PET had determined a high risk of disturbance in the enclave but Bødksov argued that the intelligence was so sensitive that the true reason for cancelling the trip could not be revealed.
Bødksov was subsequently forced to leave his role, after the far-left party Enhedslisten – which supplies the government with a parliamentary majority – withdrew support for him.