Court says substantial part of overall Baugur indictment is "seriously flawed" Skip to content

Court says substantial part of overall Baugur indictment is “seriously flawed”

The Icelandic media has continued to cover the Baugur case this morning.

In an updated report on its website, Morgunbladid analyzes the finding of the District Court of Reykjavík.

According to Morgunbladid, in its ruling the Court discusses the 18 of 40 charges which the Court considers to be flawed.

The Court states that according to the Icelandic law governing public prosecutions, an indictment must state the alleged crime, when and where it took place, its definition under law, and such other definitions as may be applicable. The charges must be clear and unambiguous.

In this respect, the description of the actual alleged crime is most important, the other aspects matter less according to the law. Both legal experts and the conventions governing the practice of Icelandic law demand that each alleged crime be described in considerable detail and in a way which conforms with the evidence at hand. The charge must describe how the defendant committed the alleged crime, and how events relate to the criminal code.

One reason [underlying the law governing public prosecution] is to make it clear to the defendant what charges he is being accused of in order that he can defend himself; another, to ensure that the judge can comprehend the case to the degree that makes it possible for him to render a verdict. According to the Court, the indictment is seriously flawed in this respect. According to the Court, the minor aspects of the case “are not particularly clear”. Since the flaws relate to a substantial part of the overall indictment, it is “impossible” not to dismiss it as a whole.

The Court furthermore instructed the State to reimburse the defendants for their legal fees.

The attorney for Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, Gestur Jónsson, said it would be difficult to file charges again since Icelandic law “considerably restricted” the scope of the prosecution to file new charges in the same case.

The prosecutor, Jón H. Snorrason, said that his office would appeal to the Supreme Court. When asked when such an appeal would be filed, he said that under Icelandic law such an appeal would have to be filed within three days.

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