Baugur CEO and former assistant director found guilty

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Baugur CEO and former assistant director found guilty

Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and former assistant director of Baugur, Tryggvi Jónsson, were given a suspended sentence of three and nine months, respectively, for embezzlement in Reykjavík District Court yesterday.

“I did not expect this result and I find it rather harsh. I have always maintained my innocence and I will continue to do so and take this to the next court level,” Jónsson told Fréttabladid.

Both Jóhannesson and Jónsson have announced they will appeal yesterday’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Iceland and Jóhannesson said there was a basis for a compensation case against the Icelandic state.

Jóhannesson was given a three-month suspended sentence for having wrongly registered a credit invoice from Nordica Inc. as income in his company’s accounts. Jónsson was granted a nine-month suspended sentence for the same charge in addition to three other charges.

The charges against Jón Gerald Sullenberger, managing director of Nordica, were dismissed on the grounds that he had served as a witness in the Baugur investigation, but not as a defendant.

Reykjavík District Court concluded it would be against the constitution to charge Sullenberger for what he had disclosed to police as a witness. The police should have given him the legal status of a defendant from the first interrogation, as stated in the ruling.

Appointed public prosecutor Sigurdur Tómas Magnússon said yesterday’s ruling had found Jóhannesson and Jónsson guilty of serious violations, though in his opinion they had been found not guilty of a more serious violation, embezzlement in connection with the yacht Thee Viking.

Magnússon said the state may therefore appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.   

Click here to read more about the Baugur case.