For the University of Copenhagen, the Penkowa case had momentous consequences. The Danish attorney general investigated the University, 500 researchers called for an independent investigation (which they did not get), the National Audit Office intervened because of the misuse of research funds, and the government minister put the university under enhanced supervision.
The scandal cost the university dearly in terms of reputation and in millions of kroner.
Spell this: A c q u i t t e d
The case is long and complicated, and the last judicial outcome was in the High Court in September 2016, where Milena Pekowa's reaction to the media dictaphones in front of her was: "Yakedi-yakedi-yakedi-yak. Acquitted, can you spell it?".
It is actually difficult to spell acquitted in the case of the Milena Penkowa trials. The year before, in September 2015, a district court sentenced Penkowa to a nine month suspended imprisonment sentence for forgery of a particularly serious nature.
But she appealed and the High Court ruled that Penkowa had committed forgery and showed "a considerable cynicism." Three judges thought she was guilty of ‘gross’ forgery, while three judges disagreed and rated her offense as 'ordinary' forgery. This fell out to Milena Penkowa advantage, as it meant that the case fell to the statute on limitations, and Penkowa was acquitted.
Penkowa: "My life is basically about saving lives and the brain”
Now the Danish site BT reports that Penkowa has written a scientific article that has just been published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.
The article was written in collaboration with a head doctor at Roskilde Hospital Peter Boye Hansen on the basis of a research project on chemotherapy side effects. The two have according to BT discovered a mineral that can prevent them.
"There are no words that can describe how good, and how right this feels. My life is basically about saving lives and the brain, and I get incredible satisfaction from this," writes Penkowa in an email to BT:
"It feels like being a hostage who, after many, many years is finally released and able see her home again."