Heine Ehlers wrote this comment in the New York Daily News:
When the news was reported in Denmark the reaction was: Can it be real? A few years ago Denmark extradited a Danish woman believed to be the kingpin behind a drug operation in Florida back in the 1990s when she went to the United States as an exchange student. A lot of effort was made to talk her into making a deal giving her a few years in prison instead of the 60 years she was facing. In the end she was acquitted but left with a lifelong debt as result of financing her defense. The charges were never real. It was a publicity stunt by the DEA.
I hope that the court can find justice in this case. The evidence seems not to be there but perhaps they are hoping that he would break due to his stay in jail so they can save their faces if he agrees some kind of deal.
Had the cameras picked anything up it would not be case but we are talking of a case based on slander and bullying from a cop. Regardless of the outcome of the case his reputation in both Denmark and the United States will be destroyed. That is how damaging it is to be accused of such a terrible crime.
The result of the old extradition case was that the Department of education in Denmark ceased to accredit exchange student agencies due to the lack of legal security. If this case is based on false charges also it is because he went to the United States without being lawyered up. It needs to be stopped just as American Exchange Student agencies have stepped up providing massive legal aid to exchange students studying in Italy. Young people should rather remain in their home-countries rather than exposing themselves to unnecessary risk abroad. A lot of human rights organizations in Denmark have started a campaign to lower or even put a stop to the traffic of young Danes taking a year abroad. No learning experience can justify this torment the young Dane has to go through now.
Heine Ehlers is right. The advice to young Danes is not to use part of their life working or studying abroad unless they have put thousand of dollars kept in spare just in case they should be involved in any interaction with local police agencies. The time is over when you could go to another country without thinking of the worst case scenario.
- Remember Camilla Broe who had to spent a year in prison before she was aquitted.
- Remember Louise Woodward who was unlucky to charged with a crime 10 years before the science could prove that she hadn't committed a crime
- Remember Amanda Knox who was prosecuted by a prosecutor himself found guilty for abuse of office
The list could be continued. Fact is that there are policemen and prosecutors out there being ready to built their career on charging innocent people for crimes they hadn't committed.
Be safe - stay at home unemployment or not - or lawyer up so the first sentence you will say even at a normal trafficstop would be "I wan't a lawyer"