Signed, sealed and delivered. That was what then-Danish Protection Minister Jakob Elleman-Jensen thought when he helped shut a cope with Israeli arms producer Elbit Methods for 19 ATMOS artillery techniques on the finish of January. However because of the persistence of Danish journalists at Altinget, quite a lot of irregularities within the deal had been uncovered, resulting in a ministerial reshuffle in mid-August and continued political turmoil for the coalition authorities. Now a number of events say it’s now not sufficient to simply examine Elleman-Jensen, however to conduct a full investigation into the actions of the chief department and the Ministry of International Affairs. At the start of September, the brand new Danish Minister of Protection, Troels Lund Poulsen, was offered to each the Finance Committee and the Protection Committee of the Danish Parliament (the Parliament) to reply questions from events in regards to the arms cope with the Israeli arms producer Elbit Methods, which has brought about some political unrest for the coalition authorities.
The deal, signed on the finish of January and value DKK 1.7 billion, was meant to supply speedy help to the Danish military by supplying it with 19 ATMOS artillery items to switch the battalion of CAESAR self-propelled howitzers deployed on was away to Ukraine will help the AFU in its protection towards Russian aggression. So what had modified? An investigation by the Danish publication Altinget added gasoline to the hearth when it emerged that then Protection Minister Jakob Elleman-Jensen (now Minister of Financial Affairs) offered parliament with false details about the urgency of Elbit’s proposal, inflicting quite a lot of political issues arose. procedural and ethical questions into the general public area.
Why was the ministry so anticipating Elbit to win the contract, whereas different tenders (the French Nexter and the Korean Hanwha) acquired little or no consideration? Why was there such a rush to push via the deal? Why was Elbit’s provide rated as the most effective if there have been no different provides to match it to? Why was all this deceptive data allowed to be handed on to the parliament?
The Israeli deadline was for much longer than Ellemann-Jensen had steered (he pressured the Protection Committee to decide earlier than the tip of January, when actually the Israeli provide expired on the finish of June, as did its French and Korean opponents). And as Altinget’s maps present, it seems that the Israelis had nearer contact with the Danish armed forces than their opponents received for the million greenback order, a lot in order that in late January the Danish parliament was satisfied to say sure to the ATMOS. order. Altinget managed to acquire a few of the paperwork offered by the Ministry of Protection that sought to underline the pressing nature of the Elbit deal. One of many paperwork learn:
The file is pressing, because the contract with the provider should be signed as quickly as doable and earlier than the tip of January to make sure the validity of the provide, manufacturing capabilities and speedy rebuilding of operational capability.
You will need to be aware that Elbit Methods and the Danish Protection Materiel and Procurement Company (FMI) had been already engaged on a deal in 2015, when the Danish Ministry of Protection examined the ATMOS system, however the Danes left, particularly the Radikale Venstre and SF had been strongly against the deal as a consequence of Elbit’s questionable human rights document, and it was canceled. This led to lawsuits, that are nonetheless ongoing and for some are a direct purpose for the problematic method of the FMI and the Ministry of Protection in January. FMI deputy director Christian Brejner Ishøj was concerned in each instances and, curiously, was on a go to to Israel from January 8 to 10, the place he “obtained weapons tenders from Elbit Methods, helped advocate a direct award of the Danish multibillion-dollar order. to Elbit Methods and has reached a settlement with the corporate,” Altinget mentioned.
Two hours earlier than the assembly of the Finance Committee on Thursday, January 26 at 1 p.m., committee members acquired two confidential paperwork, signed by Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, totaling seven pages, on the acquisition of ATMOS artillery techniques and PULS rocket launchers for the Danish military for a complete of DKK 1.74 billion. “It’s a decision-making committee the place we determine issues involving billions of crowns. We’re very immediately accountable. That’s the reason we will need to have good working circumstances,” Pelle Dragsted, Enhedslisten’s monetary spokesperson, mentioned on the time. It turned out that there was no rush and that Elleman-Jensen had offered the committee with false data. Nexter, Hanwha and Lockheed, opponents of the Israeli tender, have expressed outrage over the procedural irregularities.
Rasmus Jarlov, spokesman for the Danish Conservatives mentioned:
I can not consider that the remainder of the members of the Finance Committee settle for such a method of working, as a result of it reveals that they don’t take their very own work significantly. That they tolerate such unhealthy circumstances that they do not have time to learn issues and haven’t got time to speak to anybody about it.
Many have even questioned the loyalty of sure actors throughout the Protection Ministry, whose actions implicitly point out favoritism towards the Israeli firm. The case has to this point led to the switch of the Secretary Common of the Ministry of Protection, the sensible demotion of Elleman-Jensen and an unbiased authorized investigation into the method.
Till now, the principle driving power behind the deal was believed to be Elleman-Jensen, with little involvement from different prime officers within the coalition authorities. However on September 11, Altinget revealed that quite a lot of prime authorities officers had been concerned, evidenced by a cache of inside emails accessed by the publication, which deal with the donation of the CAESARs to Ukraine and the next buy of the substitute weapons from Elbit techniques.
The political affect of the affair seems to be spreading additional. The brand new data reveals, amongst different issues, that the precise case of donation and acquisition of substitute weapons was handled throughout conferences with the participation of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of International Affairs. This additionally reveals that numerous emails concerning the difficulty had been exchanged between the 2 ministries and the Ministry of Protection within the weeks main as much as the controversial arms buy. Jørgen Grønnegaard Christensen, professor of political science at Aarhus College, has rigorously studied the listing, which he says reveals that “it’s a extra complicated case than that, as a result of evidently time strain was exerted from above” . Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Minister of International Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen are concerned on this data. They’ve but to make their place on this public, however Danish politics ought to actually put together for a bumpy journey within the coming weeks and months.
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