All members of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós were acquitted this morning by the Reykjavík District Court in an extensive tax evasion case, RÚV reports. Jón Þór Birgisson, the bands lead singer, was also acquitted on charges of tax evasion in connection with his company Frakkur. The band’s legal costs amounting to ISK 56 million ($463,000/€378,000) will be paid by the State Treasury.
All of Sigur Rós’ band members except Kjartan Sveinsson were charged with committing major tax fraud by submitting incorrect tax returns between 2011-2014. Kjartan, who left the band in 2013, was charged with submitting incorrect tax returns in 2012 and 2014. Jón Þór (Jónsi) was also charged for tax evasion via his company Frakkur.
Throughout the case, the band members have maintained their innocence and said that they had, in good faith, left their financial affairs to an accountant who mishandled them. The band fully co-operated with the tax investigation and paid all charges and fines, yet still faced additional punishment through the District Prosecutor, who has now acquitted them. The band released a statement in October last year decrying the injustice of Iceland’s legal system, which allows for parties to be charged and tried twice for the same offence.
Sigur Rós received this year’s Honourary Award at the Icelandic Music Awards for their contribution to Icelandic music over the past 17 years. The band was established in 1994 and is one of the most internationally successful Icelandic music acts of all time.