Mogens Amdi Petersen, founder of the controversial Tvind schools empire, who has been a virtual recluse for decades, is finally back on Danish soil after being successfully extradited from the USA where he was arrested seven months ago.
In the custody of four Danish police officers, Petersen arrived back in Copenhagen, Saturday, to face charges of tax evasion and embezzlement to the tune of DKK 75m, and was immediately whisked away to Ringkøbing County Prison.
Despite claims by his defence lawyer that he had been subject to ‘torture-like’ conditions whilst in remand in Los Angeles jail, Petersen appeared to be refreshed and in reasonably good shape when appearing in Ringk?bing Municipal Court, Monday. However, pleas by the Tvind boss to be released whilst awaiting trial in the New Year were rejected by a judge, who said that there was a ‘considerable and credible risk’ that Petersen would flee the country again.
In a letter to the court, a leading member of Tvind’s humanitarian foundation, Sten Byrner, attempted to exonerate his disgraced boss by accepting responsibility for many of the organisation’s rather dubious financial transactions. However, the letter was dismissed by the judge as having no legal significance as to whether Petersen should be released whilst awaiting trial.
According to a Berlingske Søndag report, Tvind leaders and prominent members have held a series of ‘crisis meetings’ to formulate strategy for Petersen’s defence in the upcoming trial, which is expected to be one of the biggest media events in Danish legal history.
Sep. 19, 2002