Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, chairman of the Alliance Party, said to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service on Wednesday night that there is much in the Baugur case that suggests that those in power gave a “hunting license” on the company and individuals involved in the case. She continued to say, that if the outcome in the Supreme Court will be the same as in the Reykjavík District Court [a dismissal], questions will arise on how issues have been handled.
Ingibjörg Sólrún said that it is a serious matter to submit charges on individuals that can cause both financial loss and distress. The prosecutors should not do so unless they are certain that it is more likely than not that the individuals will be found guilty. She said that much pointed to the fact that the Baugur case was “rooted in the atmosphere that prevailed” in Iceland a few years ago.
Arnar Jensson, a senior officer at the Office of the National Commissioner of Police answered Ingibjörg’s accusations, on the news program Spotlight, Wednesday night, by saying he found it very serious that he and others working on the case needed to put up with accusations of acting as instruments of corrupt politicians.
Arnar continued to say that many charges, filed in the past by the Office of the National Commissioner of Police, had the same wording as the indictment in the Baugur case, and even so, they had been accepted without comment by the courts. Arnar emphasized the dismissal from the Reykjavík District Court was not about the case itself but instead a procedural issue that concerned only the language of the indictment.
Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson responded by sending the Icelandic media a harshly worded statement yesterday.
Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson wrote: “It’s clear that the sloppy and dishonest work done at the Office of the National Commissioner of Police is now getting back at them and now they are complaining in the media.”
Jón Ásgeir said that the slow speed and long duration of the investigation, unclear charges, and continual appearance of new charges support his claims.
Employees at the Office of the National Police’s Economic Crimes Division also sent out a statement responding to Ingibjörg Sólrún’s accusations saying that they were so serious that “they can not be tolerated”.
“The MP was insinuating that the employees of the Office of the National Commissioner of Police had committed serious violations of the criminal code,” proclaimed the statement.
Björn Bjarnason, minister of justice, said that the statements by Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir were “incredible insinuations about the police and that it was intolerable for the police to have to put up with such charges”.
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir replied that she had not accused anyone of being corrupt.