Danish Ambassador Defends 36.000 Euro Claim

The Danish Ambassador to China, Friis Arne Petersen denies responsibility for the continued imprisonment of a 25-year-old German man in China.
 The Ambassador says to the Danish daily, Politiken, that he neither could nor would have reacted differently in this matter now that the case has become known to the public. As an Ambassador he can not bypass the judicial system in China, he said to Politiken.
 In April the young German had a fight 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.
 The German family has sent several letters to Friis Arne Petersen to apologize and to reach a settlement out of court as is the usual Chinese custom but to no avail. In August, Friis Arne Petersen’s attorney presented them with a settlement proposal, where the German family had to pay 36.000 Euro.
 According to the Danish daily, the Ambassador explains the big amount was mainly to cover the costs for the medical treatment. Money that would be handed over to the insurance company taking care of the costs.
 “I have asked a highly respected law firm to make an out of court settlement proposal to close the case”, Friis Arne Petersen told Politiken.
 The German family is far from happy about the proposal, the family calls it extortion.
 The Ambassador also points out that the reason why a settlement earlier in the process has not been presented has been that the son’s facial injury has to be healed to decide whether or not a claim for permanent injury.
 Friis Arne Petersen told Politiken that the assault was described by Chinese security personnel as “violence of a dangerous nature”.
 “I understand their situation, I would be sad if it was my son, who was imprisoned in China. But it has been an unhappy situation for both families and we have experienced that they had very little understanding of our situation. This has been a tough experience for us.”
The case was brought to the attention of the Danish public by another Danish newspaper, Berlingske Tidende.

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