Famous Danish Business Woman Acquitted of Exploiting Thai Au Pair

The Thai girl, who has been living in Thailand for a long time, apparently did not find it worth the while to travel to Denmark to appear in court.

In the presentation of the ruling, the judge stated that the girl’s absence had significance for the acquittal.

Gitte Dyrbeg Knudsen and her husband Lars Ole Knudsen were accused of leting the au pair girl to work up to 12 hours a day so she could not tend to her school.

But while the judge decided to dismiss the charges, the accused couple was left with mixed feelings outside the court in Helsingør.

“I am sorry that the girl was not in court today. We have always had a clean conscience, and it is the right decision. But I consider it somewhat a disadvantage that she was absent today. I would not feel properly acquitted, until her version comes out to,” said Lars Ole Knudsen.

In court, the girl’s stepfather, Fred Madsen, told that the girl typically worked 12 hours a day in a period of nine months from 2004-2005, and that it prevented her from tending her language school.

According to the judge the State must now pay the costs of DKK 30,000.

Jewellery Company Dyrberg/Kern was founded in the mid 80’s  by Gitte Dyrberg and Henning Kern, who was then a couple. They are still running the company together, and until recently with great success. In the 2007/08 financial year, the company’s profit was of DKK 30.5 million before tax. In 09/10 the result had decreased though with 5.4 percent.

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