Former Minister of Defense Søren Gade (V) is to be questioned in the Supreme Court. But the doors should be closed, it sounds.
In a lengthy lawsuit filed by a group of Iraqis, the Ministry of Defense has spent millions of kroner to counter the Iraqis’ claims.
So far, the ministry has spent $ 29.6 million on legal assistance in the case of the Green Desert military operation in southern Iraq. It informs the ministry in response to a request for access to the expenditure.
The money has been used in the time from 2011 until now.
The lawsuit was originally filed by 23 Iraqis. The men were detained in connection with the operation, which took place back in 2004, and which was carried out by British and Danish forces.
During the case, the men have claimed that they were subjected to torture and therefore they have demanded compensation.
In the process, the Ministry of Defense has, among other things, claimed that the case was outdated, just as there had been a lengthy showdown over whether the Iraqis should provide financial security or not.
In the Eastern High Court, about 50 court hearings were held before the verdict was handed down in the summer of 2018.
18 of the 23 were each awarded 30,000 kroner. They were beaten and kicked by the Iraqi authorities, to whom they had been transferred, the high court ruled.
The Ministry of Defense was convicted because the Ministry and the Defense Command, according to the High Court, already knew about the risk of assault. But Denmark did nothing to supervise the prisoners.
The ministry created the framework for the 18 to be subjected to inhuman treatment – but otherwise there was no evidence of torture, it was said.
The lawsuit is still alive. The ministry has appealed to the Supreme Court to be acquitted.
But here it pulls out with a decision. At one point, court hearings were scheduled for November 2020, but that plan was canceled, according to a court book.
No new dates have been set yet, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.
A large number of witnesses are to be questioned. Among them is the then Minister of Defense Søren Gade (V). However, the Ministry of Defense wants him to answer questions behind closed doors. The public can thus not get to know what he is saying.
In an email, the ministry explains that the demand is due to a so-called conditional consent to the questioning of witnesses, which the Speaker of the Folketing has given.
It states that Søren Gade must explain himself behind closed doors if he is to account for information that he has provided in confidential forums such as the Foreign Policy Board, the ministry writes.
On Thursday, there is a court hearing on whether to close the door or not.
/ ritzau /