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Denmark to review court cases because of possible DNA flaw

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Some 3,450 criminal cases where a court ruling was chiefly based on DNA evidence will be reviewed, Denmark’s top prosecutor said Monday after a retest showed that a person convicted of burglarly likely was innocent.

“We are protectively looking if to see if there are other, similar cases,” Director of Public Prosecutions Jan Reckendorff said. The cases to be reviewed are those since October 2011. Officials said the problem occurred because the system used to analyze DNA taken from a person is different from the one used to analyze a crime scene. As a result, they could not be reliably compared.

Officials found a case where a person was convicted of burglary, using DNA, among other things, as evidence. A later analysis showed that the convicted person was probably innocent, Reckendorff said in a statement.

He said it was not possible to predict when final decisions can be made in all the cases, nor did he say which cases should be reviewed. Forensics can use DNA from blood, semen, skin, saliva or hair found at a crime scene to identify the matching DNA of an individual.

Earlier there have been concerns in Denmark about mobile phone data being used as evidence. Flaws in systems that convert phone companies’ raw data into evidence used to place a person at a crime scene and inaccurate cell phone tracking data have led to dozens of court cases being postponed.

Danish authorities’ temporarily halted use of cell phone data in criminal cases and ordered the review of some 10,000 verdicts because of errors in tracking data.

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