Danish Ambassador to China Accused of Complicity in Young German´s Imprisonment

Denmark´s Ambassador to China, Mr. Friis Arne Petersen is accused of complicity in the continued imprisonment of a 25-year-old German man, tells the newspaper, Berlingske.

In April the young German had a clash with Friis Arne Petersen’s son on a disco in the Chinese capital, where the German went on to hit the Ambassador’s son in the head with a glass. Now the German has been imprisoned nearly five month in Beijing.

Subsequently the German family sent several letters to Friis Arne Petersen to apologize and to reach a settlement as is the usual Chinese custom. But it has not happened yet. In August, Friis Arne Petersen’s attorney presented them with a settlement proposal, where the German family had to pay approx. a quarter million Danish kroner.

The proposed settlement is called ”pure extortion” by the mother of the young German.

The case is highly unusual according to the Chinese system, said experts to Berlingske. Shenghua Yi, head of the criminal justice department at the law firm Yingke says that especially cases with foreigners often are resolved with the settlement:

“The prosecution can drop the charges in cases involving less serious crimes if a financial compensation is offered and the victim pardons the accused.”

One of the world’s leading experts in the Chinese judiciary, Joshua Rosenzweig tells Berlingske:

“My impression is that the police give preferential treatment in this case. But they will also do so in many cases to anyone who has money or a powerful position. China’s criminal justice system is built such that it potentially can be manipulated by those with power, whether it is politically or economically. ”

Friis Arne Petersen rejects the German family’s accusations:

“Our family has been much affected psychologically by the case and we feel we have been victims of a German assailant. We were not ready to talk to them. There is no question of blackmail.” he said to Berlingske.

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