A district court has found Mogens Amdi Petersen innocent of embezzling funds from the humanitarian organisation he founded
Mogens Amdi Petersen, founder of the left-wing Tvind humanitarian organisation, has been acquitted of tax evasion and embezzlement by a district court in Ringkøbing.
Petersen, 67, and seven other members of the organisation’s leadership had been under investigation since 2000. At that time a former teacher at one of its schools alleged the group was misusing the organisation’s tax-exempt status to funnel money into their own pockets.
Petersen, who disappeared from Denmark in 1979, was found living a life of luxury in Florida in 2001. He was arrested in 2002 in Los Angeles while en route from South Africa to Mexico and spent seven months in a US prison for attempting to avoid confinement.
He was later extradited to Denmark and spent 11 months behind bars in all.
Petersen had pleaded guilty to a number of charges, but is expected to seek damages from the state.
The case against Petersen and the other Tvind leaders began in March 2003. Since then the cost of prosecuting the case has run up to DKK 56 million, requiring 160 court sessions.
One of the prosecutors, Finn Borch Andersen, said the acquittal was likely to be appealed, pending a review of the 4000 page decision.