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Bankers Acquitted in Chesterfield Case

This morning, three former Kaupþing bankers were acquitted in the Reykjavík District Court of charges in the so-called Chesterfield Case, reports.

The three are Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, former CEO of Kaupþing bank, Sigurður Einarsson, former chairman of the board of Kaupþing bank, and Magnús Guðmundsson, former CEO of Kaupþing in Luxembourg. They are currently serving sentences in Kvíabryggja prison.

They were accused of a major breach of trust, RÚV reports. Hreiðar Már and Sigurður were charged with misusing their position in the last weeks leading up to the financial crisis by issuing a loan to Chesterfield United, Inc., Partridge Management Group S.A. and their holding companies, totaling EUR 510 million (USD 552.5 million). Magnús was charged with taking part. The special prosecutor believes Kaupþing has lost the whole amount.

The special prosecutor had demanded that Hreiðar and Magnús be given additional sentences, but their sentences so far have already reached the limit for embezzlement, which is six years in prison. The prosecutor had demanded the sentence be increased to nine years, in accordance with the law regarding increased sentences. Sigurður had already received a five-year sentence, which the prosecutor wanted extended to the limit allowed for embezzlement.

Defense costs for all three defendants will be paid by the state.

The Chesterfield Case is the last one filed against former directors of Kaupþing, but sentences have been passed in the Al Thani Case, both in district court and in the Supreme Court. The market manipulation case of Kaupþing and the so-called Marple Case, which both were appealed to the Supreme Court, are still pending.

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