Chairman of the board of Baugur Group Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson plans to move some of the group’s companies away from Iceland and to Britain, Denmark or the Faroe Islands, following the conclusion of the State vs. Baugur Group case on June 5.
On June 5, after six years of trials, the Supreme Court of Iceland found Jóhannesson guilty in one out of 59 charges—for a bookkeeping error in relation to a single credit invoice—and gave him a three-month provisory prison sentence, Morgunbladid reports.
The sentence stipulates that Jóhannesson must leave the boards of companies in Iceland, and on June 19, he announced that he would step down from the board of FL Group, mbl.is reports.
“I will remain on the board of our companies abroad and in the next few weeks we will announce which of our companies will be relocated to other countries,” Jóhannesson said in an interview with Morgunbladid.
Jóhannesson said he is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Baugur case and that he has often been angry and bitter during the past six years. Jóhannesson is convinced political motives lie behind the case and is contemplating suing the state for compensation.
In reaction to Jóhannesson’s claims that an investigation on the conception and the events leading up to the Baugur case is required, Minister of Justice Björn Bjarnason told Morgunbladid that he would not make any substantial comments on these claims.
Bjarnason however agreed that “the Baugur case [needs to be] investigated with the aim of adjusting and changing the system.”
Bjarnason said the Althingi parliament has already, according to his own proposal, decided to strengthen the prosecution with new laws on the treatment of criminal cases affective as of January 1, 2009.
“Then the prosecution will be in the hands of three people instead of two before: the state’s attorney, the district attorney and the chief of police. That power is generally treated with diligence,” Bjarnason concluded.
Click here to read more about the Baugur case, the most extensive court case in Iceland’s history.