Davíð Örn Bjarnason, a 28-year-old Icelandic citizen and father of three, is still behind bars in Turkey on suspicion of attempted smuggling of antiquities after attempts to have him released yesterday failed. He was arrested at the airport in Antalya on Friday.
Selim Sariibrahimoglu, the Icelandic consul in Turkey, told RÚV that there are mainly three reasons for Davíð not having been released: he has no fixed address in Turkey, the nature of the crime and the risk of him trying to leave the country as he doesn’t live there.
Sariibrahimoglu added Davíð’s lawyers are trying to have the trial sped up and that it might take place in two to three weeks. If convicted, Davíð might be looking at three to six years in prison.
Sariibrahimoglu said Davíð was given permission to call his mother, fiancé and children yesterday which hopefully made him feel better.
The case has garnered significant attention in Sweden, where the couple live. Davíð’s fiancé, Þóra Birgisdóttir, described Davíð’s arrest to Aftonbladet yesterday.
They had bought a piece of marble at a market. After the stone was found in their luggage during security control they were taken to the airport’s police station.
“They said we should have known the Turkish law: the stone was an antiquity and belonged in a museum. I asked if we could leave, catch our flight, explaining that we had three kids at home.” Þóra could leave but Davíð had to stay.
“I’m so afraid. I think of him, I don’t know anything about how he’s been treated, whether he has a bed,” she says. According to Fréttablaðið, Þóra intends to take their children to Iceland and stay with family during this time of uncertainty.
11.03.2013 | Icelander Held for Smuggling Antiquities in Turkey