Friday, 8 January 2010

2003 News Update

2003, Nov 6, Ritzau: The court ruled today that interrogations of the British accountant (see Aug. 7th) were not carried out in accordance with Danish law of procedure. Police investigations cannot continue during trial. The parties accuse each other of stalling. A sentence can be reduced due to prolongation of the case. In combination with considerations for his age it is likely that Amdi P. has served his time.

2003, Oct. 24, several media: A court session earlier this month was postponed because Amdi Petersen was ill - at least that was what he said. He sufferede from "an allergic reaction" during a stay in Zimbabwe. A handwritten declaration from a doctor in Harare was eventually faxed and accepted by the court as documentation. Reading between the lines the judge is sceptical. My guess is that Tvind is doing what they do best in dealing with authorities: stalling. And Amdi P. is known to be somewhat of a hypocondriac. On Oct. 22 he was back in court, hiding his face in a full beard thus keeping his rash or absence of such from public scrutiny.
2003, Aug. 23, DR: UFF/Humana in Finland risks losing its state funding of 600.000 Euro annually.
2003, Aug. 8: A spectator was arrested in the court room audio taping the trial yesterday. Frede Farmand who - as a witness in the trial himself - is banned from being in the court room during witness interrogations is suspected to be the initiator of the illegal taping.
2003, Aug. 7: Several boxes of documents have been confiscated from the office of the British accontant David Swain who has worked with Tvind companies.
2003, July 15: The brutal killing and possible sexual abuse of a 12 year old girl near Ringsted on the island of Sealand on the 27th of June has drawn a lot of public attention during the past weeks. Yesterday a suspect was finally arrested, a 22 year old man with a history of theft and petty crime in the local area. He has admitted the killing before a judgde today. He returned - according to BT - just a few months ago from a social rehabilitation program on a Tvind ship. I don't expect any journalist to use this angle but you never know.
2003, June 18, Urban/Ritzau: Amdi Petersen recently left the country to fly to London. He is free to travel between court sessions and he has left the country several times.
2003, Apr. 10, Jyllands-Posten: The defence wishes to call 91 witnesses including high ranking officials from ministries and government offices. The defence also suggests that the court should go on fact finding missions to Western Jutland and Brazil. The judge demonstrated a dry sense of humour by saying: "I am disappointed that we don't get to go to Tahiti."

2003, Mar. 14: Frede Farmand's book about Tvind is published. It contains a great amount of documentation about the financial transactions and copies of letters. Several documents seem to come from the public prosecutors office. Mr. Farmands relation to the police and the prosecution is still a mystery.

2003, Mar. 10, SID/FAgbladet: The city council of Copenhagen has decided to ban the Humana/UFF used clothes containers from the city.

2003, Mar. 7, SID/Fagbladet: Tvind is leaving Ecuador. Local workers union representative says that Tvind has sold the Rio Culebra to a local sugar farmer. The Santa Rita plantation was sold October last year and the third Tvind farm, La Italia, is also up for sale.

2003, Mar. 6, Ritzau: The trial officially started wednesday and apart from all 8 pleading not guilty the day was spent disagreeing about and planning the next 80 days in court. It is now scheduled to last until October next year.

2003, Mar. 5, Ritzau: Amdi P. did actually show up for the trial this morning. Some people had feared that he might flee.

2003, Feb. 26, Ritzau: The controversial private investigator Frede Farmand Rasmussen announces the publication of documents concerning the trial against Amdi Petersen, among them are confidential official documents. Public prosecutor, Gade, wonders how that is possible without a criminal leak in the police force. So do we.

2003, Feb. 20, Jyllands-Posten: A group of former TG-members are preparing a lawsuit against Tvind. They say that the leadership were spending their money on luxury for themselves in stead of the original purpose. This invalidates the contract that was signed on entering the TG and opens up for reparations, says lawyer Lars Mumm, Aarhus.

2003, Feb. 21, Jyllands-Posten: A dispute over the salaries of the 12 lawyers appointed by the court involved in the defence of the 8 TG members in the pending court case is not settled yet. The lawyers want Dkr. 18.500 each (appr. 2.500 Euro) per day in court. The standard fee is 12.000 Dkr.

2003, Feb. 19. DR-TV: In a documentary DR journalist Anni Pape tells about the reunion of a group of Tvind students and teachers who in 1972 rebelled against the Tvind system. Much of the documentary was spent on a silly "search" for Anni Papes then lover, Ole Friis Laursen, who defected in 1979 but is still loyal to Amdi Petersen.

2003, Feb. 13, SID/Fagbladet: 5 leaders of Tvind plantations i Latin America have each written a letter to SID saying that the accusations against them are biased and misleading.

2003, Feb. 3, SID/Fagbladet: The British organisation, Banana Link, is accusing Tvind of using child labour in Ecuador.

2003, Jan. 29, Ekstra Bladet/TV2: The TG owned yacht, the Butterfly Macqueen (built 1987 by the TG in Denmark and named after an american actress who starred in Gone With the Wind) is for sale for about half its estimated value of 50 Mill. DKr. in the port of Auckland, NZ.

2003, Jan. 29, Ritzau: 15 former TG members are being listed as witnesses for the prosecution when the case against Tvind reopens on March 5th. No names mentioned.

2003, Jan. 22, Fagbladet/SID: The unskilled workers union i Denmark, SID, is now actively working against the collection of used clothes for Humana. This step is based on research on Tvind plantations in Central America.

2003, Jan 21, Dagens Nyheter: UFF/Humana Sweden is now officially bankrupt. The organisation stopped supporting developing projects last year claiming that their depts had to be payed first. They owe IRS 1,6 mill SEK and more than ten million SEK to other creditors. Who the creditors are is unknown. You can't help suspecting that the bankruptcy is staged?

2003, Jan 15, Ritzau: In a brief press release Amdi Petersens lawyers, Anders Boelskifte and John Korsø Jensen, announce that Amdi P. will not be giving any interviews to the press during the trial.

2003, Jan 10, Ritzau: Amdi Petersen was released from the prison in Holstebro and went to Grindsted in a Mercedes. (Not a BMW - see Nov. 29th) The reason for his release was that there is a risk that his time in prison so far - appr. 11 months - will exceed the expected time that he would have to serve if convicted. The appeals court did not take the flight risk into consideration. In my view it is small.

2003, Jan 9, Ritzau: The appeals court decision on MAP's release is expected tomorrow.

2003, Jan. 8, Jyllands-Posten: The Fisher Island flat (See Oct. 28th 2001) has been sold for 4,85 mill $. Its estimated value is 6 mill $. The sale was a rush job says the real estate agent. Cash problems? we ask.

2003, Jan. 7, DR TV: Amdi Petersen can be released if the appeals court within a few days agrees with the Ringkoebing judge who ruled in favor of a release today.

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