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University: Penkowa case dropped due to five-year limit

Charge against brain scientist Milena Penkowa was dropped due to a time limit. Not due to the substance of the document fraud allegations, says University of Copenhagen. More details emerge

According to the University of Copenhagen, the police case against Milena Penkowa has been dropped due to it passing the criminal code’s five-year statute of limitation.

This comes after media reported days ago that police dropped charges.

In February 2011 the University of Copenhagen notified the police about Penkowa’s document forgery in relation to a series of animal experiments in Spain. And although the police law department estimates that there is evidence of forgery, the five-year limit of the criminal code makes the case void, the internal website of the University of Copenhagen reports.

Penkowa: Will seek damages

According to criminal code, if the document forgery can be considered particularly gross, a 10-year statute of limitation applies. The University of Copenhagen has filed the charge as particularly gross, but the prosecution has estimated that the Penkowa charge does not fit into this category.

“It is not sufficient to assume that the charge under a potentiel criminal case will be considered as a gross negligence, and thus it must be seen as barred,” writes the prosecution in a report.

Milena Penkowa has publically declared that she might seek compensation for the damages related to the long duration of the case, but this does not change the UCPH viewpoint:

Prorector: We are not worried

“Although the police has decided to drop the charge against Penkowa due to a statue of limitation, it does not change our view on the case. With the indictment in our hand – with the clear statement about document forgery – we await any potential claim for compensation with serenity”, says Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm.

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