More than 35 days of negotiations were planned in the Supreme Court against former Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg (then the Liberal Party), accused of directing illegal separation of asylum-seeking spouses, in which one of the parties was a minor.
– It’s a special day today. It was always special to be a pawn in a part of Denmark’s political history, said Inger Stojberg, now a political savage in Folketing, when she met reporters on their way to the courtroom.
A more than 750-page report from a large review panel said the instructions, which expired in February 2016, lack support in law and violate other principles in addition to the European Convention on Human Rights.
“Thinking of Girls”
When she met with reporters after the first day of the trial, Støjberg – just as before – chose to establish a realistic policy on the case. She particularly highlighted the list of expelled asylum seekers – a list that was presented as evidence in court.
A number of these girls who came here became pregnant before they reached the age of fifteen. When I see the list and have tested everything again, I have to say that I have thought about these girls many times, says Stojberg. Radio Denmark.
The penalty for the conviction can be a fine or imprisonment, but Støjberg expects an acquittal.
– Inger Stojberg, who has been an unruly politician in Folketing since February, said: – We can only know what we will present ourselves (in court), but I am very optimistic.
She said – I know what you said and I know what you did.
More than 20 pairs separated
The instructions were issued in a press release from her ministry, and an examination of the course of events showed that Støjberg had been warned that it was illegal, but it could not be shown that she had given any direct instructions to officials in the ministry that they were in violation of the classes.
During the first day, the plaintiffs attached great importance to the press release and asked themselves the questions: Were instructions issued and were they in violation of the rules of administrative law and international conventions? Was Støjberg aware that the instructions were illegal without intervening?
– Prosecutor Ann Birgit Gamlegord said in the courtroom that it is possible to answer yes to all these points.
A total of 22 or 23 pairs were separated and the parties were in most cases roughly the same age, but there were isolated cases where there was a larger age difference. The largest age difference was 16 years. Of the 46 people, the youngest was a 15-year-old girl while the oldest man was 32, according to earlier reports from Ritzau.
There are 22 or 23 pairs out of 32 separated. So it is difficult to talk about exceptional instructions. Other than that, defense lawyer Nikolai Mallet told the Ritzau news agency before the trial began.
Sixth Supreme Court
According to the indictment, this is a ten-month period in 2016 in which the instructions for separating spouses must be in effect.
– She did not instruct the officials to separate the spouses, but she lobbied hard for the separation of as many spouses as possible. And there is nothing wrong with that, says Nikolai Mallet.
This is the sixth time in history that a Danish minister has been brought to justice and the first time since 1993. Other lawsuits were brought to the Supreme Court during the years 1856-1910.
A total of 38 negotiation days were planned in the case against Inger Stojberg. It is expected before Christmas.
The facts: Supreme Court v. Inger Stojberg
A total of 38 days of negotiations are planned in the Supreme Court against former Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg.
Støjberg is expected to be questioned for at least two days starting September 13.
This is the sixth time in history that a Danish minister has appeared in a national court, but only the second time in more than 110 years this has happened.
Former Justice Minister Erik Nin Hansen (Conservatives) was brought to justice in 1993, but it took two years before he was sentenced to four months in prison for illegally stopping family reunification of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka.
In the Inger Stojberg case, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling before Christmas.
Source: Ritzau and rigsretten.dk
Facts: Inger Stojberg
Politician Inger Støjberg was born on March 16, 1973 in Hjerk, Jutland.
She became a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party in 2001 and held several ministerial positions during the party’s tenure in the government.
In the years 2009-2011, she held the position of Minister of Labor and during the first year was also responsible for gender equality issues.
Stogberg served as Minister of Immigration from 2015-2019 and as Minister of Housing from 2015-2016.
She held several top positions within the Liberal Party, but after just over a year as the party’s deputy chairperson, she resigned from the position on December 29, 2020. This is after party leader Jacob Ellmann lost confidence in her.
At the beginning of February, Folketing voted to file a High Court lawsuit against Stojberg for unlawful instructions in February 2016 to separate asylum-seeking spouses, in which one of the parties was a minor.
Her party Venstre also voted yes to the Supreme Court and a few days later Støjberg announced that she was leaving the party to become politically unruly in Parliament.
Source: Ritzau and Danmarks Radio
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