The Danish driver who got a lightning-dom in France for having driven a truck with nearly a ton of marijuana hidden in the cargo, has now had a visit from the Danish embassy in the French prison.
It tells the driver's girlfriend and partner, Gitte Thoft.
the Dane, the 54-year-old Torben Nielsen, had had a few lastvognsture in Spain for a transportation company, when he was hired for a new tour of Spain with a single day's notice. Another driver had to return home to Denmark.
Torben Nielsen sat behind the wheel of the truck, loaded with oranges, lemons and some pallets of wine that run from Malaga to Odense, when he was stopped near the border between Spain and France 26. February. Customs officers revealed 987 kilos of marijuana in the truck's cargo.
After just six days of imprisonment was the 54-year-old a judgment of the court of Perpignan to eight years in prison. The prosecutor said in the follow French media:
- It is not a small transport. It is a part of an organized network.
He demanded 10 years in prison. The defence lawyer demanded the acquittal and further studies.
Torben Nielsen, who in a French retsreportage about the case was mentioned as unpunished, denies any knowledge of the illegal cargo. He has appealed against the judgment.
At the end of last week was the team visit to the prison by a representative from the Danish embassy in Paris.
Of the several things that was talked about at the meeting was the driver's preparations leading up to the appeal. Gitte Thoft've got a mail about the meeting in the prison from the embassy.
- Torben will have his telephone is being investigated, so that you can see his sms-correspondence. There must be something, which he believes can help his case, says Gitte Thoft with the address to the ill-fated truck transport.
the Embassy has promised Torben Nielsen to do his French defense attorney aware of it.
Gitte Thoft had after the visit from the embassy in the prison hoped to Torben Nielsen would now be able to call her. She has only spoken with him briefly, when he was arrested back in February, although the formalities in relation to the phone calls from him in prison ought to be gone in order now.
- I have been waiting all weekend and dare ill go in the bath. I was so afraid not to hear if the phone rang, but there has not been a call from him, she says.
She has received several letters from Torben Nielsen. He has written that he gets two meals a day, which is not particularly large. He must pay for supplemental food, like he needs to pay for other necessities in the prison, says Gitte Thoft.
She wanted to samleverens case could be dealt with by a Danish court, but the message from the French lawyer is that an offence on French soil must be treated in France.
Gitte Thoft has since his arrest been struggling to get help in different ways, not least because neither she or Torben Nielsen can French. It complicates, among other things, the communication with the French lawyer.
She has created a Facebook-group about the process and only want transparency on the matter.
- Torben has nothing to hide, she says.
In the Facebook group, many with encouraging greetings to her and the family, just like Torben Nielsen has received about 50 letters from friends and acquaintances.
the foreign ministry's Citizen service has previously confirmed to Ekstra Bladet, that a dane is imprisoned in France.
the Promptness of the Danish chaufførs case in France has received attention from the political side. Folketingspolitiker Hans Kristian Skibby (DF) , who himself is a freight forwarder and a member of the committee on legal affairs, has sent a udvalgsspørgsmål to the minister of justice, mr Søren Pape Poulsen (K).
- I notice the kind of lynpraksis to people who have not recognized their guilt. Such a case will typically take time. You can arrest, investigate a case and run a trial in under a week, amazes me, he says.
- But an offense in another country, is the country's matter?
- What I am asking, is whether it is the normal case-law of the two EU-countries, that one can pronounce such a lightning-judgment against a Danish citizen and at the same time be sure that the basic rights of the accused person have been complied with, he responds.
the ministry of Justice will provide to Ekstra Bladet, that the minister cannot comment on the case, which is not completed.
the Appeal of the hash, transportation shall take place within four months by the appellate court in the French city of Montpellier.