Reports that the Security and Intelligence Service (PET) shredded political case files in the 1990s are not new, according to Justice Minister Morten Bødskov.
“For example in 2009, the Justice Minister at the time informed Parliament on several occasions that PET had shredded cases on the initiative of Service leadership,” Bødskov says in a news release.
The issue of shredded files on Danish politicians arose during the Easter holidays when several Cold War researchers told B.T. that the Security and Intelligence Service had shredded case files on the current Socialist People’s Party Trade and Growth Minister Ole Sohn.
Ole Sohn was previoulsy chairman of the Danish Communist Party, and historian Regin Schmidt claims that PET began destroying personal files to prevent its political monitoring coming to light.
The head of PET, however, says that information is often shredded if it is no longer relevant to the Service.
“There is nothing strange in sensitive personal information being erased,” Jakob Scharf says.
Justice Minister Bødskov says that PET is duty bound to shred information and cases.
“If PET kept personal information longer than it had any intelligence interest, one would begin to think of the conditions that some Eastern European countries luckily abandoned several years ago,” Bødskov says.
“Consideration should primarily be given to the individual and not the historians as to whether information is no longer relevant and necessary for the Security Service, and should be erased,” Bødskov says.
The Red Green Justice Spokeswoman Pernille Skipper has called the minister in for consultations on the issue.
“If the information has been erased because there was no suspicion of anything illegal, then they should say that clearly. The situation now is that Sohn and others who were registered illegally are unable to clear their names,” says Skipper.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood