The events which took place had a huge economic effect on many of our companies’ clients and their families, also on my companies’ staff and their families.
It was a big personal tragedy and true devastation for my family.
When I was arrested in my country home and was told that I was accused of tax evasion, I smiled and told my wife that I will be back home for dinner since I knew for certain that no such tax evasion had ever taken place. Moreover, I had an open book and everything was transparent, even everything related to my Swiss companies, British and Dutch companies.
I kept all accounts and documentation in my offices in Denmark, only confidential files related to advising given to people in a “sensitive” situation was kept in Zurich. As to my companies operations, I had nothing to hide, only protect my “offshore” clients’ relationships.
My wife was British and at the time of the event had only lived in Denmark for four years on and off. She was used to having staff around to help her creating a loving home and assisting me and our sons with loving care, every day despite she was in a foreign country, and did not speak Danish.
She certainly, found herself alone and having to cope with so much in a foreign country. She had to cope with all the many pressures as a result of my arrest, certainly, seeing credit cards and bank account cancelled and being without money. Seeing her personal belongings, our homes, art collection and antiques are taken away.
My dear wife had to cope with the pressure from the staff of the companies, she even tried to help staff with money – for which she was arrested and suffered being incarcerated for ten weeks and at time her whole world broke down, the most deplorable act by Bagmandspolitiet and the Danish authorities, something, I never will forgive these “lowlife” people.
Sadly, at the time, from my isolation cell, I blamed my wife for not leaving Denmark after my arrest, as she could have fought for me from abroad as she had all the powers of attorneys. Moreover, she would have been able to carry on operating the various companies abroad including in Switzerland and employ the best lawyers to fight for me and expose the Danish political motivate prosecution, holding me hostage for their injustices. My advisers, outside Denmark, including my partner in M. Hauschildt et Cie, Bryan Jeeves, blamed my wife for not acting by leaving Denmark, allowing everyone to take their bite of my assets.
Unfortunately, my wife chose to stay close to me and our boys, since she at the time considered everything as a big mistake and that I would soon be freed. This was likewise my own expectation, to be freed every day and that this surely could not go on.
When my wife was arrested it was the most terrible agony to me in my isolation cell, knowing that she suffered such humiliation and pain. This act removed my last dignity seeing my dear wife in prison, even the same prison where I was kept in solitary confinement – a terrible daily agony.
Finally, my wife was thrown out of our homes as the properties were sold – in fact, given away by the liquidators for nothing, with all our antiques and art collections. My wife was left to look after our 3 sons alone during a period, where they needed their father most of all. She had to cope and did and still fought on against the injustice – she was a great woman, who died too early entirely due to the events in Denmark.
Further suffering for my wife as her father died in August 1980. She loved her father and had wanted to be by his side. Entirely due to the event, my wife had to leave our country place and therefore, could not be contacted. At the time one had only the telephone and mail contact. Therefore, she did not even attend her father’s funeral not knowing, not being able to go to her deathbed or funeral.
I told the courts many times that I was both physically and mentally ill and wanted to consult a psychiatrist and get an outside medical doctor. I was refused this during all the four years of pre-trial detention and was therefore never treated for all my illnesses caused by the more than four years of pre-trial detention and long solitary confinement!
The fact, that I did not return home to my family for one thousand four hundred and ninety-two days had a devastating effect on the family. When I was arrested, my three sons were aged between twelve and seventeen years; difficult ages for all children where they need important support and help from both parents. Adolescence is a very crucial time in a child’s upbringing and in my experience, the balance of a father and mother plays an imperative role.
My son’s homes were taken away and they had no home environment and parents, only a mother who was surrounded by so many problems as a result of the events. Both parents are important for the behaviours and choices of adolescents; moreover, I was unable to act as a father and control and supervise my sons during the more than four years I was incarcerated for, this at an age where they were most impregnable.
The fact that I was not there as a father for my sons had a serious lasting effect on our relationship. The thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence one’s future life, playing a major role in character and personality formation – and so it did for my sons.
Although my sons’ school, Herlufsholm, were very helpful and supportive at the time (in fact much beyond what one could expect), my sons did not have a father around at their most important age when they were growing up to become adults. This fact did cause unrecoverable damage to them and our relationships.
Until the event in Denmark, my sons had had an expensive private education in England and Switzerland and had attended Herlufsholm Boarding school for four to five years.
With the Danish media full of malicious lies and fabricated stories and with a father not being able to comment or answer all these outrageous allegations and lies and innuendoes, my sons had to endure the most terrible years. One cannot get such lies and stories back out of the public mind.
From early adulthood, I always wanted to have a family; therefore I had all my sons before the age of twenty-five. During their early years, I spent a lot of time with my sons and later that become limited to the weekends and holidays since my work demanded more of my time. Nevertheless, our family was very close, my wife taking good care of our home actively supporting me and at the same time engaging herself with creating a loving home for the family. When the children did not come home for the weekend my wife and I travelled together abroad for the weekend, in fact in the month before my arrest we had been together for 3 weekends travelling abroad together.
The huge blow by my absence from my family and to our marriage with the 1492 pre-trial incarceration and the events never could be healed and our marriage never recovered from this blow – the pain was too much. Although my marriage to my wife lasted 52 years until her early death, my wife and I lived apart years – I came back, from my solitary confinement and hell, after 1492 days as a changed and different person – that was never her fault.
Since my boys were all at their most critical age when I was arrested and as I was kept in pre-trial detention for so many years, I lost a father’s influence with my sons and this was never re-gained. My sons had to grow up fast without my support, witnessing the family suffering, injustice and devastation.
My youngest son was just 12 years old when I was arrested; my absence for all that time affected him very badly with considerable consequences for his schooling. It took a lot of effort for him, to overcome those years, first after Gordonstoun School and Oxford he went on to be successful in City and later established Universal Telecom and created a lovely family far away from Denmark.
My oldest son won the Danish Championship in fencing (Sable), without me even knowing this as I was not allowed contact or visit from him – I was kept in solitary confinement. How does any father feel that his son has become a Champion in a sport without the possibility to greet him – even showing your happiness as a father?
I had to read in the Danish newspapers weeks after he won the Danish Junior Championship – despite all his personal agony at the time with the newspapers being full of lies and stories about his father, who’s Christian name he carried. Later on, my son served his military duty in the Danish Royal Guards, even serving at Amalienborg (the Royals family’s residence). To this day I do not have any pictures of him in his uniform, nor did I ever see him at the time – how does a father feel? I later learned how difficult it was for him, not only living with the devastation of the event but also having my name. No doubt such an event form your character and he becomes strong and successful, now live in Canada with three beautiful girls and wife.
My more than four years of pre-trial incarceration made me a stranger to my sons, and later to my many grandchildren. During the more than four year’s pre-trial detention, I only saw my eldest son on three occasions. All this caused irrecoverable damage to our relationships, we never became close again in the same way as before the event.
Despite such horrific experiences for my sons, they overcame themselves and all succeeded in their own way. My middle son, kick-started and worked for years for what became Saxo Bank, ending up employing thousands and operating very successful companies.
My Mother & Stepfather
My mother was alone and very ill, she tried to commit suicide twice shortly after my arrest and remained in very pure health until her premature death, which was a result of what had happened to me.
I was her only child and we were very close, she took my arrest very hard along with a considerable amount of anxiety and depression during my long incarceration. When I heard about my mother’s second suicide attempts and her being in intensive care, with a possibility that she may not survive I pleaded with the Special Prosecution to see her but was bluntly refused – kept in my solitary confinement cell.
In addition to all of this, my mother was thrown out of her home – an apartment I had purchased for her years earlier. Sadly, due to the fact that my mother was in bad health, I had not transferred the apartment into her name and therefore the property belonged to me and the liquidators therefore just threw her out of her home.
Shortly before my arrest, my stepfather had entered a clinic in Aalborg because his brain had been severely damaged by chemicals whilst working for many years as a printer. In addition to this, he took to drinking upon my arrest and become even iller. Despite he had looked after me since I was 4 years old I was not permitted to see him for more than 3 years.
My stepfather, sadly he died in early 1983 during my incarceration, he died in very sad circumstances and I did not see him before his death despite he asked for me many times before his death. I was locked-up and not permitted to visit him even when he was dying.
The Special Prosecution could only smile into my face when I asked for permission to visit my dying stepfather. Considering that I had not received any sentence and “only” was a remand prisoner one could ask why?
In September 1980, my wife’s father died in England. Because all mail to the family had to go through the Special Prosecution and because of the delays that they caused, my wife did not know about her father’s death and funeral before the event had taken place. Moreover, since the family was thrown out of our properties due to my personal bankruptcy, my wife had another telephone number and could not be contacted by her sisters and mother for weeks. The Special Prosecution knew for weeks about my father-in-law’s death as they read all letters, nevertheless, they did nothing about informing my wife or my sons.
The fact that my wife did not attend her father’s funeral was most distressing for her, something she grieved for years about, as she loved her father very much.
No Privacy for 1492 Days
During the more than four years in pre-trial detention, my wife and I never had any privacy. My family had to be without me for four Christmases and Easters, as well as all of my sons, my wife’s, my mother’s and indeed my own birthdays.
My family had to live with the hope that every moment I could be set free; daily they had to wait for me, not being able to get on with their lives. If I had been given a prison sentence and was serving this, my family’s life could have been different but no, I was just kept as a hostage to injustice and my family had to hope every day that this nightmare would end – it just couldn’t go on, but it did.
If I had murdered someone, if I had committed a series of bank robberies, I would be entitled to weekend home visit every 3 weeks, after the first, second year. No, I had not been sentenced and was a victim of the Danish State and found myself in pre-trial restrictive detention for years. (see: RELIEF Magazine October 1983)
My mental and physical torture during incarceration: I say physical because my back has been a constant pain to me and it was ruined during my long incarceration in solitary confinement as I had no exercise and a very bad bunk to lie on. Since my incarceration, I have lost more than 5 cm in high.
My eyesight deteriorated badly during the long incarceration due to having had bad light and with the need to read, causing considerable damage to my eyes. All my joints suffering suffered badly from the long incarceration in darkness and cold, moreover I contracted rheumatism.
More than twenty-seven years after my freedom, I still carry the deep scars and the post-traumatic stress, and not a day goes by without me thinking about what took place and at times, even getting into a stage of rage. I still suffer from depression, claustrophobia, problems with impulse control and an impaired ability to concentrate and think at times.
Although that I have shaken the hands and been in the company of kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, princess and princesses, Nobel price laureates, ambassadors and captains of finance and industry, during the last 37 years I never found myself again after the terrible events in Denmark, I have lived as a changed person marked by the scars which the Danish State inflicted on me and my family.
I did leave my isolation cell, but the solitary isolation has never left me!
Unfortunately, I did not know thirty-five years ago how much this trauma could affect your life. I tried to suppress the experience but instead, I should have gone under treatment. We know now that traumatic experiences have a devastating effect on our brain and even reduce our capacity to think normal.
My solitary confinement in Denmark was worse because I was not “mentally” prepared for this; as a result, I had a much greater trauma. When I say mentally prepared, I relate to the fact that if I lived in Russia or another totalitarian country or if I was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, I would know what could happen if you were arrested. In such situations, our minds are somewhat able to adjust to much more pressure as we “have brothers in arms”. Moreover, the public at large knows a little about our situation and possible suffering. I was in the Danish Gulag that so few ever experienced and did not know exists.
I recently told an American Human Right lawyer that through the years of my pre-trial incarceration I was strip-searched possibly nearly one thousand times. He stated that “it was a serious affront to human dignity” resulting from the strip-searches. Just another way to break you down.
Just remember, not only did I daily lose out on a large amount of money, everything I had worked for my family during that past eighteen years before was being destroyed day by day by the Special Prosecution. This made my solitary confinement much worse for me as I could follow the daily news as to the financial markets, confirming that I was right as to the market development and simply could do nothing about it.
In my solitary confinement during the summer months of 1980, I did not speak a word to any person; at the same time I could hear the children from the nearby playground (where I myself played football as child), and even worse, the sound from a nearby kindergarten where I heard the voices of happy children – I love children.
During the many months in solitary confinement, I experienced that my dignity had slowly but steadily run into the sand and I was left without any; my self-respect had gone, how I could allow these people to do this to my family and I. I did not want to show to the Special Prosecution or the court that they had broken me and thereby giving them that satisfaction; therefore I suppressed a lot of traumatic experiences at the time. My hunger strike, which lasted fifty-five days, was a way for me to restore my self-respect because I could at least control this action.
I am a victim of injustice in Denmark – judge by the European Court of Human Right not to have received a FAIR TRIAL. With my 1492 days of pre-trial incarceration and a long solitary confinement, irrevocable damages was made – to my family, my sons and all our relationships for life. My mother and stepfather died much too early as a result of the event, I became a stranger to my sons and wife and my marriage succumbed.
My absence from the family for more than four years at a time which was most critical in my children lives caused irrevocable damages to the family, causing discord, apprehension and disloyalty ever since in the family.
During these fifty-five days, I only took water and vitamin tablets. The hunger strike was truly difficult as I like food, moreover every moment you have to overcome yourself and your body’s demands. I had previously, a few months after my incarceration, carried out a hunger strike but only for seventeen days. My weight at the time of my arrest was around 120 kg, nine months later I got down to 67 kg.
I always considered myself to be like a “Systemfange“, a prisoner of conscience, the case against my companies and I were entirely political. It “saved” Bagmandspolitiet and gave them a solid reputation among the public, allowing them to continue misusing their power as police and prosecutor.
28 days after my arrest and solitary confinement, I wrote a letter to my wife which she showed to the financial newspaper Børsen. Only 28 days, little did I know it would be 1492 says, little did I know! I wrote that I will be free, as the whole case is a political conspiracy and I have done nothing criminal, therefore, they have to let me free. I did state a lot of hatred in this letter.
When a person becomes full of hatred against injustice, he or she can become very dangerous to society. I understand the Palestinian suicide bomber or the Tibet monks who put fire to themselves or anyone who fights injustices around the world by putting themselves right up at the front. Without bringing myself into more registers as a terrorist or madman, I can only say that I made plans (from my solitary confinement cell) of terrible revenge against Denmark, even bringing dreadful and deadly disease to Denmark.
For years before the event I had difficulties to understand why the many in German concentration camps just line up to be gases, without a struggle, they would die anyway. I worked with a person who had escaped from Auschwitz and he told me about the most terrible condition and life (if you can call it that), in the concentrations camps. Nevertheless, it was first when I had walked the road of suffering in Denmark, that I really understood these poor people’s horrendous suffering. Their last walks to the gas chambers were a relief of atrocious life and unbearable pain. They had seen all the unspeakable suffering and worst slowly lost their dignity and self-respect, dead would be welcomed guest into their miserable lives.
My case gave me a life sentence because later in life I had to stand back from considerable financial opportunities and when asked to join the board of large public companies, I had to say no. Even when asked to serve as chairman or on the board of professional bodies, I had to say no. I had to say no when my name was put forward in any situation and I had to quietly refer to the events in Denmark in 1980 – 1984. Even at times, I was subjected to blackmail, either directly or in serious negotiation, because of what happened in Denmark and where the reference was made to my case in Denmark.
The Many Requests for an Independent Investigation into the Background of My Case
36 days into my hunger strike, the socialist government’s newspaper Aktuelt received “permission” to interview me in the prison hospital. During this interview, I asked for an independent parliamentary commission to investigate what had happened to me, the background and my long solitary confinement with the conspiracy and the media lynching.
After my release from pre-trial detention, I asked for a commission to investigate the background to my case and indeed the actions by the Special Prosecution.
After the judgment by the European Court of Human Right, I asked even on a TV-program I participated in for a special independent parliamentary commission to be established to look into the background for the judgement by the European Court.
No commission was ever established, no one was interested in finding out the truth.
However, recently a commission has been established to look into the revelation of the prime minister’s husband fiscal situation since this had been brought into the media during the recent election. Her husband is earning his money in Switzerland and not subject to taxation in Denmark. (See: Danish politics rocked over Kinnock tax status )
The Danish are normal keen on setting up commissions. Previously there was a commission to look into a politician and the sleaze of local government.
They establish a commission in connection with Peter Brixtofte which has cost the taxpayers in excess of D.Kr.53 mill, but he was a politician and former minister of taxes. One of “their own” caught with the fingers in the till – a commission to learn how not to get caught, indeed something most required when you are a politician.
It was the Danish media which started the exposure and they do deserve a pad on the shoulder as they acted rightly as the guardian of democracy and the people, there may have been some improvement since my time.
The conclusion of the commission has been to recommend that such commissions should be limited in time, they took 10 years, and moreover limited by the money spend e.g. be on time and budget – never.
Back in 1957 (when I was 16) the banker Eiler Baastrup told me that the best thing for bureaucrats and politician are to be on a commission of some sort and he told me about the commission for the Øresund Bridge which goes back to before the Second World War. Lots of fat lunches and wet dinners before they decided to build it in 1995 more than 60 years later – never mind the taxpayers – they always will have to pay!!
I consulted many legal experts as to make a case against Denmark. The reality, I would be forced to go to Denmark and go through a completely new trial, which could take 3-4 years if the Danish authorities wanted to drag their feet. I did speak to Professor Gammeltoft-Hansen and others in Denmark as to this issue, but frankly, too much damage had been done and I could not face another 3-4 years of my life to go by and see my family suffering. Moreover, it would be naïve to think that a system who had caused so much injustice would allow a fair trial to take place; too many people in power had too much to lose.
I could never work again within the financial industry in any official capacity; I truly was serving a life sentence because this was my business. The injustice followed me through the last twenty-seven years living abroad because in my business, integrity and trust are everything.
When you work in any official senior capacity in banks, investment trust, insurance and other financial services, you cannot hide your background. This is especially true in the last two decades, where strict compliance has been in force and you have a legal obligation to provide details of everything. Likewise, when you serve as a director on a public listed company, you have to give details as to criminal conviction and such. Therefore, I would have been a liability, not an asset to the course of business.
What happened in Denmark thirty nine years ago did indeed cause irrevocable harm to my family and me. The judgement in Strasbourg did not change that or the fact that I had money.
With regards to my family, the other day I spent some hours with one of my sons who has been fortunate enough to be relatively successful in life. In discussing various aspects with regards to my past and future, he expressed very traumatic views and feelings when I mentioned the events in Denmark and the awful injustices. Even after more than twenty-seven years later, my children carry deep scars.
I did leave my pre-trial detention and the solitary confinement, but this has not left me. That is the reality; the Danish authorities stole all of those important years of my life and criminalised my person. The judgement by the European Court of Human Rights against Denmark did not change this fact.
My defence lawyer Folmer Reindel was contacted by a well placed senior servant who attended a Cabinet meeting at Christiansborg i late Autumn 1979, where the prime minister Anker Jørgensen proposed that Scandinavian Capital Exchange and I would be the solutions to all Bagmandspolitiet’s problems and bad publicity.
This is the Danish Prime minister who praised the dictator of North Korea in 1984 as a brilliant leader. “Kim il-Sung as a leader should be admired for his devotion and wonderful work for his country and for his people’s freedom and happiness. Moreover that North Korea was a wonderful country and the people should be proud of their country’s independent from the influence of the big countries.” Anker Jørgensen was even so stupid to draw parallels with Denmark fighting against the German occupation during the Second World War (which very few did when the truth is known).
How could anyone admire and glorify the totalitarian regime in North Korea – the Danish Prime minister Anker Jørgensen and the deputy chief of Copenhagen fiscal authority Christen Amby could!
The companies were subject to many visits by the Copenhagen Tax office, including by the deputy chief of this office Christen Amby.
Christen Amby, the person who my companies and I was harassed by through several years was none other than “a red socialist” or should I say a left wing socialist and the founder of the Danish Friendship Association with North Korea.
One time leaving my office Christian Amby said: We will close this capitalist cave (Vi vil skal nok få lukket den kapitalist hule). Considering, that we operated according to the laws and everything was correct, I found such statement, as wishful thinking from his side. Little did I know about the socialist’s power and determination.
His real objective was for us to give him names of our client who traded “over the counter” all suspected to used “black money” undeclared to the fiscal authorities. Since there was no legal requirement for this at the time, I refused to corporate. Many times when leaving our offices, he mumbled “We will see about this”.
Interestingly Christen Amby was arrested back in 1969 together Otto Sand (an agent for DDR’s Stasi) as they were organising to send money to support North Vietnam fighting the American Imperialist.