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Supreme Court of Denmark

Seizure and inspection of material 
08-01-2015 

Case no. 154/2014
 

Order made on 8 January 2015


The Public Prosecutor
vs.
Aller Media A/S


Seizure of computer equipment and mobile telephones etc. belonging to, among others, Aller Media and a number of former employees at Se & Hør was justified

The police had seized physical documents and electronic work equipment such as computers, iPads, mobile telephones, hard drives and USB memory sticks etc. as part of the investigation of criminal offences allegedly committed by Aller Media and a number of former employees at the magazine Se & Hør. The allegations concerned Se & Hør's use of sources of information on celebrities' private lives.

Based on the facts of the case, including the nature of the criminal offences and the significance of the seizures for the ability to clear up the offences as well as the fact that the information on the celebrities' private lives had no importance to society, the Supreme Court held that clearing up of the case took precedence over source protection. Accordingly, the seizures were in compliance with the Danish Administration of Justice Act and the European Human Rights Convention.

Since the seized material also contained information covered by source protection which was not relevant to the investigation, it was necessary to sort out this information in an appropriate manner ensuring that source protection was not jeopardised. The Supreme Court approved the procedure for the District Court's review of the material designated by the High Court.

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