Icelandic National Broadcasting System, RÚV, reports that two men, father and son, who operated the SMS chain of grocery stores in the Faroe Islands, claimed during police questioning that the former CEO of Baugur, Tryggvi Jónsson, asked them to prepare a false promissory note to bolster Baugur’s accounts.
At the time, Baugur owned 50 per cent of the SMS chain of stores.
The promissory note is said to have amounted to ISK 45 million and is said to be unrelated to any actual transactions between Baugur and SMS.
The two Faroese claimed that one year after the promissory note was issued, and a few days after Icelandic police raided Baugur offices, they met with Tryggvi at his request and he asked them to give false testimony to the police.
Tryggvi denied all charges and said the promissory note was linked to purchase of coffee from Adfong, a Baugur wholesaler.
Separately, Hreinn Loftsson, chairman of Baugur issued a statement criticizing yesterday’s current affairs program Kastljós (Spotlight), broadcast on RÚV, for “onesided” coverage of the dealings of Tryggvi Jónsson and former Baugur business partner Jón Gerald Sullenberger.
According to Morgunbladid, Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson has claimed that Kastljós reporters Thórhallur Gunnarsson and Jóhanna Vilhjálmsdóttir are friends with Jón Gerald Sullenberger. In an interview with Morgunbladid, Thórhallur denied that allegation, and said he had never been friends with Jón Gerald. Neither he nor Jóhanna had been Jón Gerald’s guests aboard the boat Thee Viking, as Jón Ásgeir claimed, nor for that matter visited Miami where Jón Gerald lives. Jóhanna had not had any involvement in the reporting of the Baugur case, and his interaction with Jón Gerald was limited to his work as a journalist.
“It is completely clear that it absolutely untrue what Jón Ásgeir is saying. He is completely wrong,” said Thórhallur to Morgunbladid. Thórhallur said he did not understand what Jón Ásgeir’s motives could be by making such statements, unless Jón Ásgeir’s objective was to try make Kastljós’s coverage of the Baugur case less credible.