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Baugur to publish charges

According to a front page article in today’s edition of the Financial Times, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, CEO of Baugur, will “publish the full details of the 40 charges made against him and five associates in Iceland” this week.

The Financial Times reports that “unless Mr Johannesson publishes the charges, they will remain confidential until August 17, when he is due to appear in court in Iceland. The case could be heard in the autumn. However, if he is found guilty, an appeal could take two years.”

Iceland State Radio, RÚV, says that it is likely that the charges will be published today or tomorrow. Gestur Jónsson, Jóns Ásgeir’s defendant, says that, as of yet, nothing has been decided on the issue.

According to RÚV, at least 12 people have seen the charges: the lawyers of those charged; Gestur Jónsson, Einar Þór Sverrisson, Kristín Edwald, Andri Árnason og Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir, those charged; Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, CEO of Baugur, Tryggvi Jónsson, former CEO of Baugur; Jón Ásgeir’s father, Jóhannes Jónsson; Jón Ásgeir’s sister and CEO of investment company Gaumur, Kristín Jóhannesdóttir; and two auditors, Stefán Hilmarsson and Anna Þórðardóttir, both of KPMG Iceland. The board of KPMG in Iceland is also said to have seen the charges.

Iceland State radio, RÚV, reveals that the charges are in one document. RÚV quotes “one of the lawyers” as saying that supporting the charges are 7,400 pages of documents that have to be read. Furthermore, it is necessary for the lawyers to have answers ready to those questions that will be asked once the charges are made public. According to the lawyer, this is the reason that the charges have not been made public.

The lawyer said that many questions would arise with each of the 40 charges. According to RÚV, another reason that the charges have not been made public is that Jón Ásgeir has been very busy with the Somerfield deal. He wanted more time to study the charges and wanted to be in Iceland when the charges are published.

Iceland State Radio, RÚV, reports that it has been unable to reach Jón Ásgeir. He is said to be back in Iceland. According to RÚV, as of Sunday night, he had not spoken to the Icelandic media since the charges were made against him last week.

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